This video describes five myths of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Myth number one is that any event can count as a trauma when diagnosing posttraumatic stress disorder. I think part of this myth is this idea of over-pathologizing. The idea that the DSM is really too broad and pretty much any event can count as a trauma. If we look at the qualifying trauma area of the definition of PTSD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, we see that it is appropriate in terms of what types of events.
Myth number two is that with PTSD comes a higher risk of violence now in order to understand why this is a myth you really have to understand that PTSD often times does not occur in isolation of other mental health symptoms particularly substance use disorders seem to come occur with pts a lot of times we think the PTSD symptoms come back first and then as a way of managing those symptoms sometimes people turn to substances so when you look at PTSD as a whole yes there is an increased risk of violence with post-traumatic stress disorder but when you control for other comorbid mental health disorders like substance use disorders and other mental illnesses PTSD doesn’t carry any increased risk of violence
Myth number three is that when a traumatic event occurs the symptoms are always immediately evident. We know that sometimes the symptoms come about fairly quickly after a trauma. There’s even another disorder called acute stress disorder, which is really designed to deal with these symptoms. For an individual to have posttraumatic stress disorder the symptoms would have to be present for one month or more. The symptoms of PTSD can occur months after trauma and sometimes even years after a trauma. This is called “delayed expression,” and even though it’s not particularly common we do see it once in a while.
Myth number four is that traumatic exposure through television or pictures doesn’t count as a qualifying trauma. Work-related exposures would count as part of this definition.
Myth number five is that a diagnosis of PTSD can occur immediately following a trauma. There’s another disorder called acute stress disorder. When we see symptoms of PTSD immediately after a trauma oftentimes we’re looking at acute stress disorder and not posttraumatic stress disorder. By definition, a diagnosis of PTSD cannot be given until at least one month after a traumatic event.