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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Home

This is a guide that provides resources about PTSD.

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as a "complex anxiety disorder that may occur when individuals experience or witness an event perceived as a threat and in which they experience fear, terror, or helplessness." PTSD is sometimes summarized as “a normal reaction to abnormal events.” It was first defined as a distinctive disorder in 1980 and was originally diagnosed in veterans of the A wordle shaped like a brain made of PTSD keywordsVietnam War.

Although the veteran population is most heavily affected by PTSD, "it is now recognized in civilian survivors of rape or other criminal assaults; natural disasters; plane crashes, train collisions, or industrial explosions; acts of terrorism; child abuse; or war." (Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 3rd ed.)

DSM-V: 309.81

ICD-10: F43.10

Who is affected by PTSD?

PTSD can affect almost anyone in any age group if they experience a traumatic event or series of events. National Institute of Mental Health studies showed that in 2007:

  • Nearly 7.7 million adults in the United States had PTSD
  • 3.7% of adolescent boys and 6.3% of adolescent girls had PTSD
  • People have a 8-10% risk of developing PTSD over their lifetime
  • On average, 30% of soldiers who have been in a war zone develop PTSD

Subject Guide

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JJ Pionke

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