Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

DSM-IV-TR classifies PTSD as an anxiety disorder with the major criteria of an extreme precipitating stressor, intrusive recollections, emotional numbing, and hyperarousal. Individuals at risk for PTSD include, but are not limited to, soldiers and victims of motor accidents, sexual abuse, violent crime, accidents, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes or hurricanes.7 PTSD has acute and chronic forms. In the general population, the lifetime prevalence of PTSD ranges from 1% to 12% and is frequently comorbid with anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, and substance abuse disorders with a lifetime prevalence of comorbid disease ranging from 5% to 75%. PTSD is often a persistent and chronic disorder and a longitudinal study of adolescents and youth with PTSD showed that more than one-half of individuals with full DSM-IV-TR PTSD criteria at baseline remained symptomatic for more than 3 years and 50% of those individuals with subthreshold PTSD at baseline remained symptomatic at the 34-50 month follow-up.8

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