Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (cont.)
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PTSD is diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) and requires the following symptoms:
DSM-IV-TR Criteria for PTSD
The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:
The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in one (or more) of the following ways:
Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by three (or more) of the following:
Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma), as indicated by two (or more) of the following:
The duration of the disturbance (symptoms in criteria B, C, and D) is more than one month.
The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
PTSD is a clinical diagnosis; there are no laboratory tests or brain-imaging studies currently used in clinical practice to diagnose PTSD. Brain imaging studies are under way to learn more about the brain in the PTSD condition, but these are not used in everyday medical practice. A physical exam and some blood tests may be necessary to rule out medical conditions that may mimic PTSD, such as hyperthyroidism which can create an anxiety state.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2014
Maria Pease, MD
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