CMAJ Offers Suggestions to Doctors Diagnosing PTSD

A recently published article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that majority of people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) do not disclose the traumatic event to their family doctors unless they are asked, while advising that there are screening questions which Canadian family doctors can use to resolve the problem. The article published in the Monday’s issue offers advice to help primary-care physicians to treat patients with PTSD.

In the article, Dr. Allison Crawford of the psychiatry department at the University of Toronto shares that in the military, previous exposure to potentially traumatic events including combat, witnessing injury, death of comrades or witnessing an atrocity usually triggers screening for PTSD. Whereas, she suggests that for civilians, exposure to events caused by fear of death or bodily injury, and witnessing death or bodily injury should call for a screening to detect psychological distress or trauma. Crawford mentions that “many patients will not spontaneously offer this information.”

Furthermore, Crawford notes that while most of the time exposure to a traumatic event is necessary for a diagnosis, it is not necessary that all exposures to potentially traumatic events result in developing the disorder. It was highlighted that psychotherapeutic approaches, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioural or talk therapy, have proved to be helpful in reducing the symptoms and severity of PTSD. Crawford highlighted that the therapy targets the thoughts of guilt or responsibility related to the traumatic event. Moreover, the article advises steps doctors should take while treating PTSD, such as also screening for depression, anxiety and substance abuse, as well as resources on the disorder.

1 Comment

  1. We should send harper, mackay and anyone else from the corruptiom party, to the front lines in Afkrapistan and see if these useless comment_content_IDiots make it back. If so, preferably in a body bag !

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