All of the criteria are required for the diagnosis of PTSD based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Criterion A: stressor (one required)
The person was exposed to: death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, in the following way(s):
Witnessing the trauma
Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma
Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma, usually in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)
Criterion B: intrusion symptoms (one required)
The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in the following way(s):
Unwanted upsetting memories
Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders
Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders
Criterion C: avoidance (one required)
Avoidance of trauma-related stimuli after the trauma, in the following way(s):
Trauma-related thoughts or feelings
Trauma-related external reminders
Criterion D: negative alterations in cognitions and mood (two required)
Negative thoughts or feelings that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):
Inability to recall key features of the trauma
Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world
Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma
Decreased interest in activities
Difficulty experiencing positive affect
Criterion E: alterations in arousal and reactivity
Trauma-related arousal and reactivity that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):
Irritability or aggression
Risky or destructive behavior
Heightened startle reaction
Criterion F: duration (required)
Symptoms last for more than 1 month.
Criterion G: functional significance (required)
Symptoms create distress or functional impairment (e.g., social, occupational).
Criterion H: exclusion (required)
Symptoms are not due to medication, substance use, or other illness.
Please consult with a psychologist or therapist if your symptoms are meeting diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Final diagnosis should be made with clinical interview and mental status examination including assessment of patient’s level of distress and functional impairment.