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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was adopted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as part of the official classification of psychiatric disorders in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-III), published in 1980. The adoption of PTSD in DSM-III was motivated by pressures from advocates on behalf of Vietnam War veterans. The definition of PTSD in the DSM-III and subsequent DSM editions, DSM-III-R and DSM-IV, is based on the concept that traumatic events, in contrast with other stressful events, are linked etiologically to a specific syndrome. The PTSD syndrome is defined by three symptom groups: (1) reexperiencing the traumatic event, (2) avoidance of stimuli that resemble the event and numbing of emotional responsiveness, and (3) increased arousal. These features are ...

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