Exploring the History & Treatment of PTSD: An Interview with Dr. Paula P. Schnurr

As we celebrate Veterans Day (and Remembrance Day in Canada) and honoring military veterans, many of us think back to World War I but also many other wars throughout history. I recalled the 1980s, when Iran was engaged in an almost decade-long war with Iraq, and millions were killed or injured on both sides. In the West, the older generations may recall World War II and the Vietnam War, while the younger ones remember the more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We think of the millions who have fought, who have come back with injuries, and those who died serving their countries. But the numbers we rarely think about: How many live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a disorder often associated with but far from limited to those who served in or experienced wars. What is PTSD? The official definition for PTSD, as noted in DSM-5, requires “exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence” directly or vicariously; presence of intrusive symptoms such as memories or dreams; avoidance of trauma-related stimuli; and the presence of negative changes in mood (e.g. inability to feel happiness) and cognition (e.g. distorted view of the causes and effects of the trauma) (DSM-5; APA 2013).   PTSD did not officially exist before 1980. Historically, most doctors (except military psychiatrists) assumed that exposure to horrific events in war could result only in temporary stress reactions, but this view changed following Vietnam, when some...
Source: Psych Central - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Interview Medications PTSD Trauma Treatment Combat Trauma Posttraumatic Stress Disorder PSTD Traumatic Experiences veterans Veterans day Source Type: news

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