Traumatic Stress Disorder is Real and Often Overlooked

Blog | February 20, 2019

Our own Jay Vaughn recently published an article about post-traumatic stress disorder in The Advocate – Kentucky Justice Association. In the article, Jay explains PTSD, why it’s often overlooked and what attorneys can do. Take a look at this excerpt:

We are all accustomed to cases in which our clients have been seriously injured or a loved one dies after being involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer. Too often we focus on the physical injuries broken bones, disc injuries, chronic pain, etc.- but overlook the silent injury of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The caveat is if the client has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury because, in many cases, PTSD is diagnosed along with TBI. The focus of this article is in the non-TBI situation.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is an officially recognized mental health condition some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event. Whenever you are faced with a potential PTSD case, you should immediately go to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, currently in the Fifth Edition, known as the DSM-5.” The American Psychiatric Association revised the PTSD diagnostic criteria in 2013 and included PTSD in a new category Trauma-and Stressor-Related Conditions. The diagnostic criterion for all of the conditions included in this new classification require exposure to a traumatic or stressful event.

The DSM-5 criteria for PTSD, ICD-9 309.81 or ICD1 0 F43. 1 0, for adults, adolescents and children over six years old are as follows (the DSM-5 has separate criteria for children six years and younger):

Criterion A~ (one required)- the person was exposed to death or actual serious injury in the following way(s): •

  • Directly experiencing the traumatic event •
  • Witnessing the event as it occurred to others •
  • Learning the traumatic event occurred to a relative or close friend •
  • Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma

Criterion B (one required)- the traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in the following way(s): 

  • Unwanted upsetting memories 
  • Nightmares 
  • Flashbacks 
  • Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders 
  • Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders

Criterion C (one required)- avoidance of trauma-related stimuli after the trauma in the following way(s): 

  • Trauma-related thoughts or feelings
  • Trauma-related reminders

If this article sounds similar to a recent experience that you or a loved one have suffered from, please don’t hesitate to contact our Louisville personal injury lawyers online or call 859-578-4444 to schedule a free consultation!