PTSD & Comorbidities

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders. Data from epidemiologic surveys indicate that the vast majority of individuals with PTSD meet criteria for at least one other psychiatric disorder, and a substantial percentage have 3 or more other psychiatric diagnoses. A number of different hypothetical constructs have been posited to explain this high comorbidity; for example, the self-medication hypothesis has often been applied to understand the relationship between PTSD and substance use disorders.


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The fourth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) defines posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a reaction to an event, either personally experienced or witnessed, that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others.

As well, the response to the traumatic event must involve intense fear, helplessness, or horror.