Dissociative Symptoms in the Diagnosis of Acute Stress Disorder

  • David Spiegel
  • Cheryl Koopman
  • Etzel Cardeña
  • Catherine Classen


The proposal for a new diagnostic entity requires very careful consideration of the benefits and risks that such a decision entails. On the one hand, if a condition that is prevalent in a substantial percentage of the population goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, the affected individuals will lack proper diagnosis and treatment of their condition. In turn, the lack of recognition of the diagnostic entity might prevent the proper research designed to understand the condition, its treatment, and its clinical and social ramifications. On the other hand, carelessly introducing new diagnostic entities brings the risk of pathologizing what may be innocuous or even appropriate reactions to the misfortunes of life. Further, even if the symptomatology of the diagnosis can be considered “pathological,” it is still incumbent upon the advocates of the diagnosis to show that their proposal will not simply add to the profusion of diagnoses, but rather that the disorder cannot be reasonably accommodated by the existing nosology.


Anxiety Symptom Traumatic Event Posttraumatic Stress Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Posttraumatic Stress Symptom 
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 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Spiegel
    • 1
  • Cheryl Koopman
    • 1
  • Etzel Cardeña
    • 2
  • Catherine Classen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA

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