DSM-V Revisions to Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

From https://blackbearrehab.com/mental-health/ptsd/signs-and-symptoms-of-ptsd/

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In the most recent publication of the DSM, the DSM-V, PTSD symptoms are grouped into five different clusters. One or more symptoms are required from each of these clusters in order for a patient to receive a full diagnosis.

Those clusters include:

1. Stressor – (one required) The person was exposed to injury or severe illness that was life-threatening, which includes actual or threatened injury or violence. This may include at least one of the following:

Direct exposure to the trauma

Witnessing a trauma

Exposure to trauma by being a first responder, such as police, firefighter, medic, or crisis counselor

Learning that someone close to you experienced the trauma

2. Intrusion Symptoms (one required) – The person who was exposed to a trauma then re-experiences the trauma in one or more ways, including:

Flashbacks

Nightmares

Distressing and intense memories

Distress or physical reactions after being exposed to reminders, known as “triggers”

3. Unpleasant Changes to Mood or Thoughts (two required) –

Blaming self or others for the trauma

Decreased interest in things that were once enjoyable

Negative feelings about self and the world

Inability to remember the trauma clearly

Difficulty feeling positive

Feelings of isolation

Negative affect, and difficulty feeling positive

4. Avoidance (one required) – This occurs when a person tries to avoid all reminders of the trauma, including:

Avoiding external reminders of what happened

Avoiding trauma-related thoughts or emotions, sometimes through the use of drugs or alcohol

5. Changes in Reactivity (two required) – This occurs when a person becomes more easily startled and reacts to frightful experiences more fully, including symptoms of:

Aggression or irritability

Hypervigilance and hyper-awareness

Difficulty concentrating

Difficulty sleeping

Heightened startle response

Engaging in destructive or risky behavior

Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep

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