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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), also known as post-traumatic stress syndrome, can develop after a traumatic event. Examples of traumatic events include a wide array of near-death experiences, physical injuries, or sexual violations. This entry first describes the current and evolving definition of PTSD and explores its causes and manifestations. Next, the entry describes intrinsic and extrinsic factors associated with the increased risk of developing PTSD. In addition, symptom presentation and variations between adults and children are reviewed. The last section focuses on therapy treatment modalities and medications used in the treatment of PTSD.

Contemporary diagnostic criteria focus on the individual’s experience of the traumatic event rather than subjective reactions to the event (such as feelings of fear, helplessness, or horror), at least insofar as these aspects ...

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