Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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  • Increased focus on trauma reactions began following World War I and World War II, when army soldiers returned from the war and exhibited symptoms such as increased anxiety, autonomic arousal, and reliving the trauma. Military psychiatrists were treating conditions referred to as “battle shock” or “shell shock.” The first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I), which was developed in 1952, included a category called “gross stress reaction,” which was defined as a stress syndrome that occurred in response to exceptional physical or mental stress such as a natural catastrophe or war. However, the diagnosis was omitted without explanation from the DSM-II published in 1968.

    In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the third edition (DSM-III). Controversy ...

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