Evolution of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Future Directions
Archives of Psychiatric Nursing
The knowledge that trauma can cause long-term physiological and psychological problems has been recognized for centuries. Today, such suffering would be classified as the characteristic symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Nurses in all practice settings are increasingly caring for individuals suffering from military trauma, natural disasters, and interpersonal violence such as childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, intimate partner violence, and collective violence. This article discusses how the diagnosis of PTSD evolved over the course of history, limitations of the PTSD diagnostic category, and additional diagnostic categories for trauma. Implications for nursing practice and future directions for research are explored.