Title

Is Helplessness Still Helpful in Diagnosing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

UMMS Affiliation

Division of Law and Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry

Date

1-1-2016

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Trauma

Abstract

Criteria A2, experience of helplessness, fear, or horror at the time of the traumatic event, was removed from the posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. We argue that there is empirical support for retention of A2, a criterion that has clinical value and may improve diagnostic accuracy. Specifically, we demonstrate that A2 has high negative predictive power, aids in the prediction of symptom severity, and can be indispensible to detecting the disorder in children. We examine how augmenting A2 with other peritramautic emotions could improve clinical and diagnostic utility. In our opinion, rather than being eliminated, A2 needs to be reconstructed and included as one criterion of PTSD.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: J Nerv Ment Dis. 2016 Jan;204(1):3-8. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000416. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID

26704461