Post-traumatic stress disorder: Differential diagnosis and management
ABSTRACT Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that may develop after an individual experiences severe psychologic
trauma such as combat or rape. Characteristic symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing symptoms, such as intrusive memories
or dreams of the event, avoidance of reminders of the event, and persistent symptoms of increased arousal such as insomnia
or hypervigilance. Chronic PTSD can result in considerable suffering and functional impairment for the individual. The heterogeneity
of symptoms that may be present in PTSD represent a challenge in the differential diagnosis and treatment of the disorder.
Moreover, chronic PTSD is frequently complicated by comorbid psychiatric disorders including depression and other mood disorders,
substance abuse, dissociative disorders, other anxiety disorders, and psychotic symptoms or disorders. These comorbidities
offer a further challenge in the diagnosis and management of PTSD. This paper discusses the diagnosis and differential diagnosis
of PTSD, and addresses mainstay as well as emerging novel therapeutic approaches to the illness.