Psychological medicine

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  •  Long lasting anxiety or memories about a severe traumatic event, including nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, avoidance of reminders
  • Diagnostic criteria: 
  1. Actual or threatened severely traumatic event where the response was intense fear, helplessness or horror 
  2. Event is persistently re-experienced: recollections, dreams, distress to cues of an aspect of the event 
  3. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma (triggers) and numbing of general responsiveness (eg ¯interest in activities, detachment, etc) 
  4. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (eg difficulty sleeping, irritability, ¯concentration, hypervigilance) 
  5. Duration of > 1 month
  6. Causes significant distress or impairment in social/occupational function
  • Types:
  1. Acute: duration of symptoms < 3 months
  2. Chronic: duration of symptoms > 3 months
  3. Delayed onset: onset > 6 months after stressor
  • Differential: OCD, Acute stress disorder (resolves within 4 weeks), adjustment disorder, psychotic disorders, malingering