Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
By age 16 years, approximately two thirds of youth report having experienced at least one traumatic event (Costello, Erkanli, Fairbank, & Angold, 2002; Copeland, Keeler, Angold, & Costello, 2007). This is distressing in that exposure to a traumatic event can lead to the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a debilitating condition that is associated with several poor mental and physical health outcomes. As such, it is imperative to understand the development and course of PTSD, including its prevalence, comorbid conditions, assessment, treatment, and prognosis.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder. Criteria for diagnosis include (a) exposure to a traumatic event that resulted in actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of the self or others, and also that the person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000, DSM-IV-TR, p. 467)....
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