PTSD Changes From the DSM-IV to the DSM-V


PTSD Changes From the DSM-IV to the DSM-V*

          The following is just a short synopsis of the changes to the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the DSM-V. We have outlined just a few of the implications for settlement and trial.

1.      PTSD Reclassification

a.       DSM V now refers to PTSD as a Trauma and Stress Related Disorder

b.      DSM-IV categorized PTSD as an Anxiety Based Disorder

c.       Implications:

              i.      Attempts to mislabel PTSD and explain it away as some other type of preexisting or new anxiety disorder can no longer happen.

2.      The triggers for PTSD have been narrowed.

a.       The DSM V describes a traumatic event that is actual or threatened

b.      The DSM-IV included the personal perception criterion

c.       Implications:

               i.      In the DSM-IV the role of personal perception played a much greater role in diagnosing PTSD and trying the PTSD related case. Now the burden will be to prove severity, actual or threatened. The low speed MVA and slip and fall will be much harder to prove. The removal also includes the perception of fear, helplessness, and horror which help to prove to juries that low speed MVA,s and slip and falls could lead to PTSD.

3.       Our article (PTSD, The Permanent Life Altering Injury) focuses extensively on Chronic PTSD.

a.       There is no longer a Chronic PTSD

b.      In the first month of the disorder there is an Acute Stress Response, if symptoms continue for more than one month then there is a diagnosis of PTSD if the criteria are met.

4.      Greater emphasis on sexual violence

a.       It will become paramount to ascertain if your client was a victim of actual or threatened sexual violence. This will really muddy the PTSD claim. Please review the following national (American) numbers on sexual violence:

·        1 in every 6 adult women experienced a sexual violation;

·        1 in 33 adult men experienced a sexual violation;

·        1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before age 18;

·        Victims of sexual violation are 6 times more likely to develop PTSD.

*Please note that the biological and brain science has not changed; PTSD still causes permanent brain damage. *

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