The Changing Landscape of PTSD

Questions about post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could lead the medical community to make changes about how the disorder is treated in military personnel. At the annual gathering of the American Psychiatric Association, these questions created a controversy during a workshop on PTSD. This post will highlight some of them as well as the potential issues behind them.

Should the diagnostic criteria change? The same PTSD diagnoses have been used for more than 30 years, but the symptoms and triggers have evolved over time.

Is there such thing as “secondary” PTSD? A growing body of research is exploring whether family members who live with or care for service members diagnosed with PTSD also develop these symptoms.

How can commanding officers properly deal with PTSD? It is increasingly important for officers to maintain discipline and good order while dealing with subordinates who are dealing with PTSD.

Could other toxins contribute to PTSD? It is believed that some pesticides and toxins could make symptoms worse.

Does the label “PTSD” still apply today? A number of physicians believe that it should be called post traumatic stress injury, because it is not necessarily a disorder that comes about due to a genetic mental disorder. Instead, it occurs as a result of a traumatic experience, and thus should be considered an injury.

Should PTSD treatments change? Many people complain about the psychotrophic drugs that control symptoms. Meanwhile, alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, virtual therapy and omega fish oil are gaining traction.

It is suspected that continued discussions surrounding these questions will lead to improved diagnoses and treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD.

Source: Time.com, PTSD’s vexations, May 30, 2013.