Clinically Speaking is a blog that will allow anyone to learn about Social Work, case presentations in psychotherapy, and the relationship of pop culture in psychology. Come one...come all!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Class is in session...

Today's post will be a precursor to upcoming posts. Today's discussion: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. This disorder is under the scope of what the DSM-IV-TR label's as an Anxiety Disorder.  Within the next couple of days the blog will talk about PTSD and our veterans. I thought it would be a good idea to get some background on the disorder. Please click see the full list of Anxiety Disorders and definitions that are in accordance with the DSM-IV-TR: Anxiety Disorders from the Cleveland Clinic.

Pencil's ready? Begin!

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD): 
The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present: 
1) A person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury or a threat to the physical integrity of others.
2) A person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in at least one of the following ways:
1) Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions.
2) Recurrent distressing dreams of the event.
3) Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring, including a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and flashback episodes.
4) Intense psychological distress at exposure to cues that symbolize an aspect of the traumatic event.
5) Physiologic reactivity on exposure to cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
Duration of the disturbance is more than 1 month. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Interestingly, very often certain disorders, one would need at least 2 or more characteristics for the person to meet criteria for a diagnosis. Yet, with PTSD one would only need to have one "persistently re-experience" . There are additional symptoms that go along with having PTSD, which can be read as mentioned above. I am sure you are thinking "oh I definitely have PTSD, I have had traumatic experiences". No doubt, but the game changer is that true PTSD is having those symptoms for at least a month. Duration plays a big role in having PTSD, as well as any of the Anxiety disorder.

DDx(Differential Diagnosis): Acute Stress Disorder: Which has many of the same characteristics as PTSD, but with one caveat....any guesses? If you Comment, or tweet, or email me the right answer. You can pick the next topic for the blog?(Exciting right? lol)

If you do feel that you may be experiencing any of these symptoms you can take this online questionnaire to determine if you should contact a professional. Click PTSD Questionnaire to complete it.

Twitter: @Clinicallyspkng

Class is dismissed!


  1. PTSD is just ASD that occurs for longer than one month? and ASD is just PTSD that occurs for less than one month?

    1. FFD-are you asking me or telling me that the difference is in duration? I'll assume you are giving an answer. Survey says: DING! DING! DING!. You are correct sir! That ASD is the same as PTSD but not in the amount of duration. The disturbance lasts for a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 4 weeks and occurs within 4 weeks of the traumatic event. PTSD last more than a month. FFD please comment and let us know what topic you would like to see next on ClinicallySpeaking!