Creating Waves of Awareness
1. The person experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of others.
2. The person's response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror. Note: In children, this may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.
B. The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in one (or more) of the following ways:
1. Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts or perceptions. Note: In young children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of the trauma are expressed.
2.Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: In children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content.
3. Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations and dissociative flashback episodes, including those that occur on awakening or when intoxicated). Note: In young children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.
4. Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
5. Physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by three (or more) of the following:
1. Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma
2. Efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of the trauma
3. Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
4. Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
5. Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
6. Restricted range of affect (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children or a normal life span)
D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma) as indicated by two (or more) of the following:
1. Difficulty falling or staying asleep
2. Irritability or outbursts of anger
3. Difficulty concentrating
4. Hyper vigilance
5. Exaggerated startle response
E. Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criteria B, C and D) is more than 1 month.
F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
Acute: if the duration of the symptoms is less than 3 months.
Chronic: if the duration of symptoms is 3 months or more.
With Delayed Onset: if the onset of symptoms is at least 6 months after the stressor.
Photo credit: Black Hole | Computer-simulated image shows gas from a tidally shredded star falling into a black hole. Some of the gas also is being ejected at high speeds into space. Astronomers observed the flare in ultraviolet light using NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, and in optical light using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope on Mount Haleakala, Hawaii. The light comes from gas falling into the black hole, and glowing helium from the star's helium-rich gas expelled from the system. Sometimes persons who experience PTSD and depression feel as it they have fallen into a black hole.