The Mobbing Encyclopaedia
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, DSM code-nr 309.89): As
mentioned above, two authoritative psychiatric diagnosis manuals exist.
One, which will be presented here, is edited by the American Psychiatric
Association. The other (ICD-10) is published by the WHO in Geneva. The
guidelines for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the American
DSM, are divided into five criteria groups:
PTSD criteria group A (version 1987): The individual has witnessed
something, beyond normal human experience, that would be very trying for
almost anybody, such as a serious threat against one's life or one's physical
or psychological integrity; a serious threat against or injury to one's
children, partner or even other close relatives or friends; sudden and
extensive destruction of one's home or home district; seeing a person who
has just been seriously injured or killed due to an accident or violent
act; or witnessing the entire course of events.
PTSD criteria group B: The traumatic event is relived repeatedly
in at least one of the following ways: (1) Returning, insistent
and painful memory images of the events. (2) Recurring nightmares about
the event. (3) The individual can suddenly act or feel as if the traumatic
event is repeated (experiencing a feeling of going through the event again,
illusions, hallucinations and dissociative episodes (flashbacks), even
those which occur while waking up or being under the influence of drugs).
(4) Intensive psychological discomfort in the presence of phenomena that
symbolize or are similar to some aspect of the traumatic event, such as
might be experienced on the anniversary of the trauma.
PTSD criteria group C: The individual constantly avoids stimuli
that can be associated with the trauma, or shows a general blunting of
the ability to react emotionally which was not present before the trauma
and which is shown in at least three of the following ways: (1)
Efforts to avoid thoughts or feelings that are associated with the trauma.
(2) Efforts to avoid activities or situations that arouse memories of the
trauma. (3) Inability to remember some important aspect of the trauma (psychogenic
amnesia). (4) Marked reduced interest in important activities. (5) Feeling
of a lack of interest or expulsion by others. (6) Limited affects; such
as inability to cherish loving feelings. (7) A feeling of not having any
future; not expecting to have a career, get married, have children, or
live a long life.
PTSD criteria group D: Permanent signs of hypersensitivity (which
were not present before the trauma) and are shown in at least two
of the following: (1) Difficulties in falling asleep, or uneasy sleep.
(2) Irritability or bursts of fury. (3) Concentration difficulties. (4)
Tense vigilance. (5) Exaggerated reaction to unexpected external stimuli.
(6) Physiological reactions in the presence of events that symbolize or
are similar to some aspect of the traumatic event.
PTSD criteria group E: The disturbance must be present for at
least one month (with symptoms according to the above-mentioned groups
B, C and D).
PTSD criteria group F: The disturbance has major influence on
daily family and occupational life and other social events.