14 June 2016: What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?


What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Free article to download.

PTSD has existed as a diagnosis for around 35 years. At the time when it came into force – and still today – it has been controversial. For the first time, a mental health disorder was seen as being consequential to an event that happened to a person, and not because of some ‘flaw’ or deficit within that person’s biological or psychological make-up.

The symptoms of PTSD have been historically well documented before the diagnosis ever existed. Such examples include: ‘shell shock’, ‘traumatic neurosis’, ‘rape trauma syndrome’ and ‘car-crash syndrome’. Indeed, Samuel Pepys makes many references to nightmares, anxiety and avoidances in his diary regarding the 1666 Great Fire of London.

To read a recent medico-legal article on PTSD, please click here.