Types of PTSD
How is PTSD diagnosed? Medical and mental health providers use the DSM-5 to determine whether a patient meets the criteria for PTSD. The symptoms and severity of the condition help health care providers make the diagnosis and these symptoms guide treatment for the condition.
Though PTSD has certain diagnostic criteria, it can vary from person to person. Just as unique circumstances can bring about PTSD, the severity of symptoms depends on a number of factors. The types of PTSD indicate the varying degrees of severity and additional complications that can present with this disorder.
One might assume that with a phrase like “uncomplicated,” this form of PTSD would be easy to manage. That is not the case. Uncomplicated PTSD got its name from the fact that it is a more straightforward condition that is not intertwined with other conditions. This is a less common type of PTSD and generally responds favorably to treatment.
When someone has one or more conditions that negatively influence one another, they are considered comorbid. Comorbid PTSD can result in difficulties accessing the correct treatment or medications and can even delay being diagnosed correctly, as some of the symptoms of these conditions can overlap, making it easier for the true diagnosis to be missed.
This form of traumatic response stems from severe and long-standing periods of trauma, such as childhood abuse. Complex PTSD symptoms can include aggression, irritability, challenges in relationships or self-harm and commonly co-occur with conditions such as borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety and substance use disorder.