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Introduction: Understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):An Overview

Rachel Yehuda, PhD

Published: January 3, 2001

Article Abstract

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been recognized for more than 100 years under a variety of labels such as nervous shock, compensation neurosis, shell shock, and war neurosis. However, the disorder was not officially categorized among the diagnostic nomenclature until 1980 when it was introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition. Because of the relatively recent recognition of PTSD as a formal disorder, critical issues in PTSD research, such as predictors of failure to recover from trauma, underlying biological mechanisms, and the development and evaluation of effective treatments, are just beginning to be fully addressed.

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