Signs and Symptoms
Carl, a retired soldier, remains haunted by memories of the events he witnessed during his career as a marine serving in various wars. In particular, he has flashbacks of his friend’s gruesome death during the war he served. As a result, he displays angry outbursts whenever he cannot handle problems. He shows symptoms of anger outbursts, flashbacks of his friend’s death and anti-social behaviors.
Carl displays symptoms associated with anxiety disorders. He was exposed to a traumatic event that continues to affect his present life. Based on the DSM criteria, Carl’s condition can be diagnosed as ‘military-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)’ code 309.81. A person with PTSD exhibits persistent flashback of the “traumatic event and symptoms of arousal” (APA, 2000, p. 178). Carl’s symptoms are consistent with these criteria; hence, Carl’s condition can be diagnosed as PSTD.
Based on DSM diagnostic criteria, a person with PTSD is one who “has been exposed to a traumatic event” (APA, 2000, p. 175). Carl’s truck was hit by a bomb, which resulted in the death of his friend. He felt helpless as he could not save his friend. Carl also experiences “recurrent and distressing recollections of the event” (APA, 2000, p. 181) especially when driving where his friend was killed. Carl, when frustrated, vents his anger towards his wife, family and other people. These are symptoms of irritability, which is caused by “clinically significant impairments in social functioning” (APA, 2000, p. 187). Thus, Carl suffers from post traumatic stress disorder caused by the traumatic event he experienced as a marine.
The intense flashbacks are characteristic of PTSD, which manifests itself as impaired social functioning. The spot where Carl’s friend died triggers flashbacks that result in social dysfunction and anger outbursts. Thus, Carl’s symptoms indicate that he is suffering from PSTD.
American Psychiatric Association [APA]. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (DSM-IV). Washington, DC: APA.