Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Combat)

  • B. Christopher Frueh
  • Jon D. Elhai
  • Mark B. Hamner


In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) nosologic system formally defined and recognized the cluster of acute, and potentially chronic, symptoms often seen in victims of traumatic events (e.g., combat, sexual, and physical assault), naming this condition post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; APA, 1994). Since DSM-IV (APA, 1994), the disorder has been classified as an “anxiety” disorder and is defined by six basic criteria: (1) the historical antecedent of a traumatic event that involves both actual or threatened death or serious injury, and an intense response of fear, helplessness, or horror; (2) persistently re-experiencing the traumatic event through intrusive memories, dissociative flashbacks, recurrent distressing dreams, and/or psychological or physiological reactivity upon exposure to associated cues; (3) avoidance of stimuli associated with the event, or a numbing of general responsiveness, including efforts to avoid thoughts and feelings related to the trauma, efforts to avoid activities or situations that arouse recollections of the trauma, loss of interest in significant activities, social detachment, and/or reduced affect; (4) existence of persistent symptoms of increased arousal such as hypervigilance, sleep disturbance, irritability or outbursts of anger, impaired concentration, and/or exaggerated startle response; (5) duration of the disturbance for at least one month; (6) the pervasive effects of the disturbance causing clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.


Ptsd Symptom Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Vietnam Veteran Combat Veteran Combat Exposure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Christopher Frueh
    • 1
  • Jon D. Elhai
    • 1
  • Mark B. Hamner
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans Affairs Medical CenterCharlestonUSA

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