What is PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, DSM code-nr 309.89): has two authoritative psychiatric diagnosis manuals. 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.
To avoid more people being affected by these symptoms, it is important that we learn to identify mobbing activities.