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This research paper discusses the stress symptoms that commonly follow trauma and describes PTSD and its prevalence. To meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD, the symptoms must cause significant impairment in daily functioning.
Clearly, such mass traumas would be expected to have considerable impact on those individuals directly affected as well as on their children, communities, and cultures.
Larger-scale traumas, such as mass migration, refugee camp experiences, and holocausts, have not yet been thoroughly researched.
First, the DSM-IV specifies a minimal number of symptoms that need to be observed to receive the diagnosis, whereas the ICD-IO leaves more freedom for clinical judgment.
The advantage of the former approach is its utility in clearly operationalizing the concept of PTSD.
The disadvantage is its rigidity and the possibility that one symptom can determine diagnostic membership.
Second, the ICD-IO does not recognize the numbing symptoms, which together with flashbacks and nightmares are thought to be cardinal features of PTSD. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, as described in DSM-IV, is a set of symptoms that begins after a trauma and persists for at least 1 month. First, the individual must reexperience the trauma in one of the following ways: nightmares, flashbacks, or intrusive and distressing thoughts about the event; or intense emotional distress or physiological reactivity when reminded of the event. A diagnosis of Acute Stress Disorder is warranted when such symptoms last between 2 days and 1 month, occur within 1 month of the trauma, and interfere significantly with daily functioning. Reexperiencing of the trauma, avoidance, and arousal, as defined in the criteria for PTSD, must also exist. The focus of this disorder is on dissociative features, and, consequently, the symptom criteria include at least three of the following: a sense of numbing, detachment, or lack of emotional responsiveness, a reduction in awareness of surroundings (e.g., being in a daze), derealization, depersonalization, and dissociative amnesia. Theories on the Development and Maintenance of PTSD A. Many trauma victims report being disoriented and anxious after a trauma and have difficulty sleeping and concentrating. A number of physical and psychological symptoms are considered common reactions immediately after a traumatic experience. Bibliography Psychologists and physicians have long been interested in vulnerability and resilience factors in reaction to extreme stress.However, the three categories of symptoms are not empirically validated as distinct symptom clusters.For instance, it is not clear that the symptoms of behavioral avoidance and emotional numbing are similar and belong in the same category.The ICD-IO criteria for PTSD also include some reexperiencing symptoms (nightmares, flashbacks, distress on exposure to reminders), actual or preferred avoidance of trauma reminders, and either an inability to recall important aspects of the trauma or sustained psychological sensitivity and arousal (sleep disturbance, hypervigilance, difficulty concentrating).