Today I was reading the DSM IV definition of PTSD, which is:
The essential feature of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor involving direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury, or other threat to one's physical integrity; or witnessing an event that involves death, injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of another person; or learning about unexpected or violent death, serious harm, or threat of death or injury experienced by a family member or other close associate (Criterion A1). The person's response to the event must involve intense fear, helplessness, or horror (or in children, the response must involve disorganized or agitated behavior).
OK, that's all very nice and clinical, but I'm wondering - how do YOU define PTSD?
Please leave a comment with your description. On the Heal My PTSD, LLC, web site I want to include a description of PTSD that makes sense to us, from the perspective of those who struggle with PTSD, not those who study us and make assumptions. Let me hear from you!