Trauma and the DSM-5® by Bessel Van der Kolk
Every year, there are ten times as many children in the US reported to be victims of domestic violence, neglect and abuse than combat soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan diagnosed with PTSD. However, these children live in a diagnostic void because the current DSM-IV® conceptualization of PTSD does not reflect the symptoms experienced by the vast majority of these children. So, instead, abused and neglected children receive such widely disparate diagnoses as bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, ADHD, borderline personality disorder, and other anxiety disorders. All of these diagnoses are etiologically unrelated to trauma and lead to pharmacological and behavioral control at the expense of dealing with the fear, shame, terror and rage that derive from real threats to these children’s survival.
The lack of proper diagnosis also has profound implications on insurance reimbursement, treatment development and clinical research. Thus these children are condemned to receive treatments that are likely to be ineffective and therefore put them at risk to grow up to be unproductive, expensive, potentially dangerous, and long-suffering members of our society.
In response to this neglect of our nation’s greatest public health threat, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s DSM-5® Task Force has proposed a new clinical syndrome, Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD), based on a literature review of about 100,000 chronically traumatized children and direct systematic observations of 20,000 traumatized children. This diagnosis describes the five clusters of symptoms that characterize many children who have suffered repeated trauma in an interpersonal context:
- Affect and impulse dysregulation
- Disturbances of attention, cognition, and consciousness
- Distortions in self-perception and systems of meaning
- Interpersonal difficulties
- Somatization and biological dysregulation
This presentation will review the development of DTD in the DSM-5® as a diagnosis and its implications for assessment, diagnosis and treatment.
More information about Medical:
Medicine is the science and practice of establishing the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness.
Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease,
typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics, and ionizing radiation, amongst others.
Medicine has been around for thousands of years, during most of which it was an art (an area of skill and knowledge) frequently having connections to the religious and
philosophical beliefs of local culture. For example, a medicine man would apply herbs and say prayers for healing, or an ancient philosopher and physician would apply bloodletting according to the theories of humorism.
In recent centuries, since the advent of modern science, most medicine has become a combination of art and science (both basic and applied, under the umbrella of medical science).
While stitching technique for sutures is an art learned through practice, the knowledge of what happens at the cellular and molecular level in the tissues being stitched arises through science.