Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Diagnosis according to ICD-10
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) defines the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (ICD-10 F43.1) as a delayed or protracted response to an event associated with exceptional threatening or of catastrophic nature, that would cause deep distress in almost anyone. The PTSD usually does not begin directly after the traumatic event but develops after a few weeks or months.
The typical features of PTSD include episodes of repeated reliving of the trauma in intrusive memories (flashbacks), dreams or nightmares, and a persistent feeling of numbness. The patients feel often bleak and indifferent and unresponsive to their environment. Added to this is an avoidance of activities and situations that might evoke memories of the trauma.
Many patients experience an over-arousal with increased attention (hypervigilance) and increased nervousness. The sleep is often disturbed. The PTSD is often accompanied by anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. Some patients may also experience suicidal thoughts.