Post-traumatic stress disorder: New insights

Some trauma victims or survivors experience more comprehensive psychological changes, most commonly after prolonged or repeated events known as CPTSD.

Expanded Criteria

As a result, many experts have called for the diagnostic requirements for PTSD to be adjusted. Earlier this year, WHO issued a new version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

The updated ICD now includes a new diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD). New symptoms – such as self-organization disorder – have been added to previous symptoms of PTSD, including flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance, social withdrawal, and increased morale.

An international team involving UZH has now published a study in The Lancet that details how complex PTSD is diagnosed based on a patient’s symptoms. The study describes the possible difficulties, the unique features of the disease in children and adolescents, and the differential diagnosis that should be made for closely related mental health disorders. such as major depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis or personality disorder.

Accurate description of diagnosis and treatment

First author Andreas Maercker, professor of psychiatry and clinical interventions at the University of Zurich, said: “We highlight how CPTSD can be diagnosed in common situations in emergency medical settings and in the hospital. regions with underdeveloped health care systems. The study included the latest findings on sociophysiological correlations based on systematic selection criteria. The researchers also analyzed the evidence base for all available treatment studies and developed guidelines for the treatment of CPTSD.

This is especially important, Maercker explains, because not all countries use the WHO disease classification. Some countries have adopted the DSM-5 classification published by the American Psychiatric Association. published, do not currently list a diagnosis for complex PTSD,” Maercker explains their study.

New classification developed globally

The University of Zurich is also involved in updating the new WHO International Classification of Diseases. Based on their own research and clinical experience, Andreas Maercker from the UZH Department of Psychology and Marylene Cloitre from Stanford University provided a new diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder.


In addition, global surveys among psychiatrists and psychologists suggest that a more detailed assessment of this mental disorder is needed. A systematic review of previous studies as well as subsequent new findings has resulted in the creation of a new diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Source: Eurekalert


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