Clinical Psychology
and Psychotherapy

Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may develop as a result of stressful traumatic events such as accidents or sexual abuse.

On the following pages you will find extensive information on PTSD  and its treatment.
 

PTSD: Symptoms

The typical symptoms of PTSD include episodes of repeated reliving of the trauma in intrusive memories (intrusions or flashbacks), dreams or nightmares, a persistent feeling of numbness, emotional apathy, bleakness and indifference.

Many patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder experience a so-called over-arousal, e.g. increased alertness (hypervigilance) and increased nervousness. The sleep is often disturbed.

Added to this is an avoidance of activities and situations that might evoke memories of the trauma.

The PTSD is often accompanied by anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. Severely affected patients may also experience suicidal thoughts. The PTSD may persist for many years, but with intensive therapy a significant long-term improvement is possible.

© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.com
 

PTSD: Diagnosis

In 1980, along with the publication of the DSM-III, the term Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was introduced  as a diagnostic category.

In diagnosing PTSD there is made a distinction between a so-called type I trauma and a type II trauma.

Type I trauma

The term Type I trauma describes a unique, unexpected, short-lasting traumatizing event, such as a traffic accident.

Type II trauma

Type II trauma on the other hand describes repeated or prolonged traumatic experiences such as long-lasting sexual abuse.

© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.com
 

PTSD: Comorbidity

The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is frequently accompanied by anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. Severely affected patients may also experience suicidal thoughts.

© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.com
 

 

PTSD: Course

The onset of PTSD is in most cases a few weeks to months after the traumatic event.

The PTSD may persist for many years, but with intensive therapy a significant long-term improvement is possible.

© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.com
 

 

Further Reading...

 

References

PTSD: Guidelines
 

Flatten G, Gast U, Hofmann A, Knaevelsrud Ch, Lampe A et al. (2011). S3 - Leitlinie Posttraumatische Belastungsstörung. Trauma & Gewalt 3: 202-210.

National Institute for Clinical Excellence - NICE (2005): Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). London: NICE (Clinical Guideline 26).

 

Posttraumatische Belastungsstörung  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder  Trastorno por Estrés Postraumático

© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.com
 

 

 


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© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.org
Last updated: 03-24-2016
 

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