Posttraumatic stress disorder
Many different types of trauma can cause posttraumatic stress disorder including violence, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual assault, witnessing a violent act, or experiencing severe pain, combat, torture, or acts of terrorism. In addition to emotional and physical trauma, particularly acute medical events such as cerebrovascular events, myocardial infarction, and prolonged intensive care unit hospitalizations have all been associated with posttraumatic stress disorder. The lifetime prevalence in the United States is approximately 6%-9%. Risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder include low socioeconomic status, poor education, prior abuse, familial or other separations, traumatic childhood, and family history of psychiatric disease.
There is no well-understood pathway for the development of posttraumatic stress disorder. MRI studies have demonstrated decreased hippocampal, amygdala, and anterior cingulate cortex volume. Chronic adrenergic receptor down-regulation and decreased corticosteroid levels have also been associated with posttraumatic stress disorder.
Posttraumatic stress disorder can be a chronic condition with a lifelong duration. However, effective treatment does exist, and patients can make marked improvement in their quality of life and ability to function within society with intensive therapy.
Patients with this disorder may have an increased risk of various general medical conditions.
F43.10 – Post-traumatic stress disorder, unspecified
47505003 – Posttraumatic stress disorder
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls