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New diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in siblings — ScienceDaily

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The World Health Organization (WHO) recently introduced a new diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), called PTSD. An international team with the participation of the University of Zurich summarized the symptoms of the long-awaited new diagnosis and issued recommendations for clinical evaluation and treatment.

One of the most widely recognized reactions to trauma is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. People who suffer from this mental disorder usually suffer from intrusive memories or flashbacks that can overwhelm them. But international experts have known for decades that some trauma victims or survivors show a broader pattern of psychological changes, most often after prolonged or repeated events – such as war, sexual violence, domestic violence or torture – now called PTSD.

Advanced criteria

Therefore, many experts are calling for adaptation of the requirements for the diagnosis of PTSD. Earlier this year, WHO released a new version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The updated ICD now includes a new diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD). New symptoms, such as disturbances in self-organization, were added to previous symptoms of PTSD, which include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance, social withdrawal, and hypervigilance. The main features of self-organization disorders include excessive or heightened emotional reactions, feelings of worthlessness, and persistent difficulties in maintaining relationships and feeling close to others.

An international team involving UZH has now published a study in Lancet a detailed description of how to diagnose complex PTSD based on the patient’s symptoms. The study describes the difficulties that may arise, the hallmarks of the disease in children and adolescents, and the diagnostic distinctions that must be made for closely related mental health disorders such as major depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or personality disorders.

Accurate description of diagnosis and therapy

“We are developing how the diagnosis of CPTSD can be made in routine situations in emergency medical facilities and in regions with underdeveloped health systems, for example,” says first author Andreas Maercker, professor of psychopathology and clinical intervention at the University of Zurich. The study covers recent findings on biopsychosocial correlates based on systematic selection criteria. The researchers also reviewed the evidence base for all available treatment studies and developed treatment guidelines for PTSD.

“This is especially important because not all countries use the WHO classification of diseases. “Some have accepted the DSM-5 classification published by the American Psychiatric Association, which does not currently have a diagnosis of PTSD,” Mayerker explains, emphasizing the importance of their study.

The new classification is developed worldwide

The University of Zurich also took part in updating the new WHO International Classification of Diseases. Based on their own research and clinical experience, Andreas Merker from the Department of Psychology at UZH and Marylene Cloitre from Stanford University advocated a new diagnosis of PTSD. In addition, global surveys of psychiatrists and psychologists have also shown that there is a need for a more detailed assessment of this mental disorder. A systematic review of previous studies, as well as new findings, led to the creation of a new diagnosis of PTSD.

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Materials is provided University of Zurich. Note: Content can be edited for style and length.

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