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  • Victim Posttraumatic Stress

  • Victim Posttraumatic Stress


    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV, APA 1994) contains a symptom-based definition of all psychological disorders, along with specific criteria required to make diagnoses. A DSM-IV diagnosis of PTSD refers to a characteristic set of symptoms that develop after exposure to an extreme stressor. Sexual assault, physical attack, robbery, mugging, kidnapping, child sexual assault, observing the serious injury or death of another person due to violent assault, and learning about the violent personal assault or death of a family member or close friend are specifically mentioned in the DSM-IV as types of stressors that are capable of producing PTSD. If when exposed to these stressor events, a person responds with intense fear, helplessness, or horror, a PTSD diagnosis may be in order. The following are characteristic symptoms after the traumatic event:

      Persistent re-experiencing of the event (i.e., distressing dreams, distressing recollections, flashbacks, or emotional and/or physiological reactions when exposed to something that resembles the traumatic event).

      Persistent avoidance of things associated with the traumatic event or reduced ability to be close to other people and have loving feelings.

      Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (i.e., sleep difficulties, outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, constantly being on guard, extreme startle response).

      Duration of at least one month of symptoms.

      Disturbance produces clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

    This information came from a
    US DOJ online article.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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