Post-traumatic stress disorder in adults

by Professor Jonathan Bisson and Dr Stuart Turner


Last updated: April 2019


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was first included as a diagnostic term in DSM-III in 1980, although under other names (e.g. traumatic neurosis), it has a much longer history in European psychiatry. It is now widely recognised as a major cause of distress and suffering following traumatic events. 


Common symptoms of PTSD include recurring recollections or dreams related to the traumatic event, avoidance and numbing, and hypervigilance. Recent reviews have consistently recommended trauma-focused psychological therapies as a first-line treatment for PTSD, although pharmacological treatments have also been found to be effective in some cases.


This module will introduce some of the different biological, psychological and social models of PTSD in adults. It will also provide up-to-date information on the epidemiology of PTSD and outline steps to help prevent and treat the condition.


Start the module



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An introduction to cognitive-behavioural therapy by Dr Chris Williams and Dr Rebeca Martinez


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