PTSD/Post-traumatic stress disorder (F43.1)

Reaction to severe strain

PTSD occurs as a delayed or prolonged reaction to a stressful event or situation of either
short or long duration, of an unusually threatening or catastrophic nature, which is likely to provoke
severe discomfort in most people.

Examples of this can be natural or man-made disasters, acts of war, serious accidents, encountering the violent death of other people, even being subjected to torture, terrorism, rape or other criminal acts.

Underlying factors

Predisposing factors, such as personality traits or previous neuroses, may lower the threshold for the development of the syndrome or worsen the course, but are neither necessary nor sufficient to explain the occurrence of the disorder.

PTSD symptoms

Typical PTSD symptoms include episodes where one relives the trauma in intrusive memories (flashbacks), dreams or nightmares, at the same time as having a feeling of "numbness" and emotional flattening, distancing from other people, reduced reactions to the environment, anhedonia and avoidance of activities and situations reminiscent of the trauma.

It is common for people to fear and avoid anything that reminds them of the original trauma. In a few cases, there may be dramatic, acute outbursts of fear, panic or aggression, triggered by stimuli that trigger an abrupt return and re-experiencing of the trauma or of the original reaction to it.

Autonomic hyperactivity and vigilance, easily startled and insomnia are usually present. Anxiety and depression are often associated with the above symptoms and signs, and not infrequently suicidal thoughts also arise. Extensive use of alcohol or drugs can be a complicating factor.

Symptom development

Symptom onset follows the trauma with a latency period that can last from a few weeks to several
months. Rarely more than six months. The course is fluctuating, but it can in most cases
cases improvement is expected. In a few patients, the condition may have a chronic course over several years, with a possible transition to a permanent personality change.

More information about PTSD and complex PTSD

You can read more about the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, as they appear in ICD-10.

Here you can read more about the difference between PTSD and complex PTSD.

If you have questions or want to book an appointment, you can do so here.