What is PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that appears after someone experiences or witnesses a traumatic or terrifying event.
According to psychiatry.org, PTSD is
"a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury."
PTSD is commonly thought of a mental health disorder that is linked to soldiers after war, but PTSD can happy to anyone, any ethnicity, any nationality, any culture, and at any age. Approximately 3.5% of U.S. adults are affected by PTSD.
DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for PTSD
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), or DSM-5, outlines that all of the following criteria are required for a diagnosis of PTSD:
Criterion A: Stressor - One is Required
Criterion B: Symptoms of Intrusion - One is Required
Criterion C: Avoidance - One is Required
Criterion D: Negative Alterations in Mood and Cognitions - Two are Required
Criterion E: Alterations in Arousel and Reactivity
Criterion F: Symptoms Duration
PTSD symptoms must last for more than one month.
Criterion G: Functional Significance
Criterion H: Exclusion
Your symptoms cannot be caused by medications taken, substance abuse, or other illness
In addition to the above criterion for diagnosis, an individual experiences high levels of either of the following reactions:
- Depersonalization - An experience that someone suffering from PTSD may have that feels as if they are detached from themselves, or an outside observer. They may feel as if they were in a dream.
- Derealization - An experience that someone suffering from PTSD may have that things are not real, things are distorted.
An individual with delayed specification will not meet full diagnostic criteria until at least 6 months after the trauma occurred. Some onset of symptoms may occur quickly or immediately.
If you need help, there is hope! Reach out to one of our licensed PTSD treatment mental health professionals.