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PTSD Diagnosis & Assessment

PTSD Diagnosis & Assessment

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Published by Alesha Rose

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Published by: Alesha Rose on Apr 14, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/19/2013

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PTSD is often accompanied by other physical andpsychological problems and a comorbid diagnosismay be warranted.Common associated problemsin PTSD include:
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Feelings of panic and other anxiety reactions
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Depression and dysphoric mood
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Abuse of alcohol or other drugs in an attemptto ‘self-medicate’ and blunt the painfulmemoriesEffective management begins with a thoroughassessment of the person's problems.However,this is often difficult due to:
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Reluctance to talk about unpleasant events andsensations
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Embarrassment at admitting symptoms
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Overlap with other problems,especiallydepression,anxiety and substance abuse
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Failure of clinicians to acknowledge traumaticstress or ask the right questionsThe following questions may be useful inscreening for full or partial PTSD:
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Are you troubled by any vivid memories orunwanted dreams?
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Do you avoid things which remind you of anyevent from the past?
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Do you at times feel emotionally numb?
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Are you irritable or constantly on edge?It is important also to enquire about associatedproblems.The following questions are useful:
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Have you been consuming a large amount of food,drink or drugs lately?
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How has your mood been?
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Are your relationships unusually troubled?It is particularly important to establish the impact onsocial and occupational functioning,since thoseproblems are likely to precipitate furtherdeterioration.Remember that,even if it is present,PTSD may notbe the most pressing problem for the person.It isimportant to prioritise and plan an intervention thatis tailored specifically for the needs of the individual.
Associated ProblemsBarriers to Diagnosing PTSDScreening for PTSD
To find out more about PTSD,other veteranand military mental health issues or theAustralian Centre,please contact us at:AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR POSTTRAUMATICMENTAL HEALTH (INC.)A&RMC,300 Waterdale Road,Heidelberg Heights3081 AUSTRALIA.Telephone:(03) 9496 2922Facsimile:(03) 9496 2830Email:acpmh-info@unimelb.edu.auWebSite:www.acpmh.unimelb.edu.au
PosttraumaticStress Disorder
INFORMATION FORHEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS
Diagnosis &Assessment
No 3 in the PTSD series of Australian Centre brochures

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