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Ethically Treating PTSD Resulting from Terroism and other Traumas

Section 11
Comparing Symptoms of PTSD
with Symptoms of STSD
by B. Hudnall Stamm

Question 11 | Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Printable Page

The following is a comparison of the symptoms of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with the symptoms of STSD, Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Primary - Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A. Stressor
1. Experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others
2. The person’s response involved “intense fear, helplessness or horror”; an event such as
a. Serious threat to self
b. Sudden destruction of one’s environment

B. Reexperiencing Trauma Event
1. Recollections of event
2. Dreams of the event
3. Sudden reexperiencing of event
4. Distress over reminders of event

C. Avoidance/Numbing of Reminders
1. Efforts to avoid thoughts/feelings
2. Efforts to avoid activities/situations
3. Physiologic amnesia
4. Diminished interest in significant activities
5. Detachment, estrangement from others
6. Diminished interest in significant activities
7. Sense of foreshortened future

D. Persistent Arousal
1. Difficulty falling/staying asleep
2. Irritability or outbursts of anger
3. Difficulty concentrating
4. Hypervigilance for self
5. Exaggerated startle response
6. Physiologic reactivity to cues

Secondary - Symptoms of Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder

A. Stressor
1. Experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others;
2. The person’s response involved “intense fear, helplessness or horror”; an event such as
a. Serious threat to traumatized person
b. Sudden destruction of traumatized person’s environment

B. Reexperiencing Trauma Event
1. Recollection of event/traumatized person
2. Dreams of event/traumatized person
3. Sudden reexperiencing of event/traumatized person
4. Reminders of traumatized person/event distressing

C. Avoidance/Numbing of Reminders
1. Efforts to avoid thoughts/feelings
2. Efforts to avoid activities/situations
3. Physiologic amnesia
4. Diminished interest in significant activities
5. Detachment, estrangement from others
6. Diminished affect
7. Sense of foreshortened future

D. Persistent Arousal
1. Difficulty falling/staying asleep
2. Irritability or outbursts of anger
3. Difficulty concentrating
4. Hypervigilance for traumatized person
5. Exaggerated startle response
6. Physiologic reactivity to cues

The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.

Personal Reflection Exercise #2
The preceding section contained symptoms of PTSD and STSD. Write two case study examples regarding applications of these symptoms.

QUESTION 11: What four major symptom categories are the same for PTSD as for STSD? To select and enter your answer go to Answer Booklet.


Answer Booklet for this course
Forward to Section 12
Back to Section 10
Table of Contents
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The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.
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