Post-traumatic stress disorder in adults

by Professor Jonathan Bisson


Last updated: December 2016 by Dr Stuart Turner


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was first included as a diagnostic term in DSM-III in 1980, although under other names (e.g. traumatic neurosis), it has a much longer history in European psychiatry. It is now widely recognised as a major cause of distress and suffering following traumatic events. 


Common symptoms of PTSD include recurring recollections or dreams related to the traumatic event, avoidance and numbing, and hypervigilance. Recent reviews have consistently recommended trauma-focused psychological therapies as a first-line treatment for PTSD, although pharmacological treatments have also been found to be effective in some cases.


This module will introduce some of the different biological, psychological and social models of PTSD in adults. It will also provide up-to-date information on the epidemiology of PTSD and outline steps to help prevent and treat the condition.


Start the module



If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


An introduction to cognitive-behavioural therapy by Dr Chris Williams and Dr Rebeca Martinez


Computer-aided cognitive-behavioural therapy by Dr Lina Gega and Professor Isaac Marks


Pharmacological management of anxiety disorders by Dr Zia Nadeem and Dr Allan Scott



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