Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is diagnosed after a person experiences symptoms for at least one month following a Traumatic Event.

However symptoms may not appear until several months or even years later.

The disorder is characterised by three main types of symptoms,
• Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks and nightmares.

• Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people and activities that are reminders of the Trauma.

• Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy and being easily irritated and angered.

Diagnosis criteria that apply to Adults, Adolescents and Children older than six years include those below.

• Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation.

• Directly experiencing the Traumatic Events.

• Witnessing in person the Traumatic Events.

• Learning that the Traumatic Events a occurred to a close family member or close friend, cases of actual or threatened death must have been violent or accidental.

• Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the Traumatic Events.

This does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies or pictures unless exposure is work related.

The presence of one or more of the following,
• Spontaneous or cued recurrent, involuntary and intrusive distressing memories of the Traumatic Events.

• Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content or affect of the dream is related to the Events.

• Flashbacks or other dissociative reactions in which the individual feels or acts as if the Traumatic Events are recurring.

• Intense or Prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the Traumatic Events.

• Physiological Reactions to reminders of the Traumatic Events.

• Persistent avoidance of distressing memories, thoughts or feelings about or closely associated with the Traumatic Events or of external reminders like, people, places, conversations, activities, objects or situations.

Two or more of the following.
• Inability to remember an important aspect of the Traumatic Events.

• Persistent and Exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others or the world.

• Persistent and Distorted blame of self or others about the cause or consequences of the Traumatic Events.

• Persistent fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame.

• Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.

• Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.

• Persistent inability to experience positive emotions.

Two or more of the following marked changes in arousal and reactivity.

• Irritable or aggressive behaviour.
• Reckless or self destructive behaviour.
• Hyper Vigilance.
• Exaggerate startle response.
• Problems with concentration.
• Difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep.

Also clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning not attributed to the direct physiological effects of medication, drugs, alcohol or another medical condition such as Traumatic Brain Injury.

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