PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is an anxiety disorder which occurs when someone has experienced or witnessed an event deemed to be seriously threatening, distressing, frightening or very stressful which leads to intense fear or horror.

The following types of events which could cause PTSD include military combat; sexual abuse, rape, physical assault, domestic violence, witnessing violent or sudden deaths, road accidents, childhood sexual abuse, neglect, terrorism, life threatening events, war, natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods etc.

Sometimes people who experience such events recover from them. However some people may develop PTSD symptoms and continue to be anxious and depressed due to the event.

Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories or images of the traumatic experience, re-living the traumatic experience through (flashbacks, nightmares) hyper arousal, numbing, insomnia, avoidance, poor concentration, irritability. Sometimes individuals could feel shame, disgust, anger and increased sense of danger and threat.


PTSD Diagnostic criteria:


  1. Exposure to a stressful event or situation (either short or long lasting) of exceptionally threatening or catastrophic nature, which is likely to cause pervasive distress in almost anyone.
  2. Persistent remembering or “reliving” the stressor by intrusive flash backs, vivid memories, recurring dreams, or by experiencing distress when exposed to circumstances resembling or associated with the stressor.
  3. Actual or preferred avoidance of circumstances resembling or associated with the stressor (not present before exposure to the stressor).
  4. Either (1) or (2):

(1)     Inability to recall, either partially or completely, some important aspects of the period of exposure to the stressor.

(2)       Persistent symptoms of increased psychological sensitivity and arousal (not present before exposure to the stressor) shown by any two of the following:

  1. a) Difficulty in falling or staying asleep;
  2. b) Irritability or outbursts of anger;
  3. c) Difficulty in concentrating;
  4. d) Hyper-vigilance;
  5. e) Exaggerated startle response.
  6. Criteria B, C (For some purposes, onset delayed more than six months may be included but this should be clearly specified separately).

2015 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code F43.1