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Post-traumatic stress disorder 

Post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder

David Coghill

, Sally Bonnar

, Sandra L. Duke

, Johnny Graham

, and Sarah Seth

Page of

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date: 20 September 2020

Life stresses and psychiatric disorder 322

Definitions and epidemiology 324

Aetiology 326

Assessment, differential diagnosis, and co-morbidity 328

Management 330

Prognosis, course, and outcome 332

Clinical example 333

Recommended reading 334

The concept of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was first coined in relation to symptoms reported by war veterans from the Vietnam War, although it was subsequently recognized that the ‘shell shock’ experienced by soldiers in the First World War in Europe was the same phenomenon. Later, the term was used to describe symptoms experienced by patients who had experienced an ‘event outside the range of usual human experience … that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone’ (DSM-III-R, American Psychiatric Association). To begin with, it was believed that the diagnosis would not be relevant to children and young people. This view has now been discarded and it has been demonstrated that younger patients also display the symptoms associated with PTSD, although developmental differences must be taken into account....

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