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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A Mainstream View of PTSD

Diagnostic Criteria. The syndrome that is currently called posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been recognized in some form since the beginning of recorded history. However, it was not until the 1980 publication of the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) that PTSD was officially codified in the psychiatric nomenclature. The current DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for PTSD stipulates that for more than one month following a traumatic event, a PTSD patient must report the following types of symptoms: (1) reexperiencing (e.g., intrusive memories, recurrent dreams, flashbacks, intense physiological or emotional responses when reminded of the trauma); (2) avoidance and/or numbing (e.g., effortful evasion of thoughts, feelings, people, or places that are reminiscent of the trauma; ...

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