for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
page contains an abridged version of the DSM-IV Criteria.
(The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) is a guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders
in the United States.)
This page has been included for information purposes only and although
these criteria are displayed to provide a guideline to diagnosis they
cannot substitute a visit to a doctor or mental health practitioner.
One more thing:
A "diagnosis" is merely a label .
It does not define you as a person.
Be very aware of The Power of Labelling - subscribe to my RSS feed to
get this information as soon as it's available)
DSM IV Criteria for
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
The person has been exposed to a
in which both of the following have been present:
(1) The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event
or events that
involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to
the physical integrity of self or others.
(2) The person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or
- Note: In
children, this may be expressed
instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.
For the person suffering from Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder, the traumatic event is persistently reexperienced in
one (or more) of the following ways:
(1) Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event,
including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Note: In
young children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of
the trauma are expressed.
(2) Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note:
In children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable
(3) Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring
(includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions,
hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those
that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated). Note: In
young children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.
- (4) Intense psychological
distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or
resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
- (5) Physiological reactivity
on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an
aspect of the traumatic event.
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:
(1) Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated
with the trauma
(2) Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse
recollections of the trauma
(3) Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
(4) Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant
(5) Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
(6) Restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
(7) Sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a
career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)
Persistent symptoms of
increased arousal (not present before the trauma), as indicated by two
(or more) of the following:
(1) difficulty falling or staying asleep
(2) irritability or outbursts of anger
(3) difficulty concentrating
(5) exaggerated startle response
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.
if duration of symptoms is less than 3 months
if duration of symptoms is 3
months or more
Specify - With Delayed Onset:
if onset of
symptoms is at least 6 months after the stressor
from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because the symptom pattern in
Acute Stress Disorder must occur within 4 weeks of the traumatic event
and resolve within that 4-week period.
the symptoms persist for more than 1 month and meet criteria for Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder, the diagnosis is changed from Acute Stress
Disorder to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder