Historical Significance

The term posttraumatic stress disorder was introduced in 1980 in the DSM-III, although the concept of this disturbance has a long history. In the past, it the syndrome was recognized in wartime as shell shock or war neurosis, because it was seen most commonly in wartime situations. Many of its typical symptoms, however, such as

intrusive thoughts and autonomic arousal, were also recognized in victims of other traumatic events, such as natural disasters.

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