- FAQ

ASTP is a public support newsgroup for people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It can also be a source of information for family and friends of individuals who suffer from the disorder.

As this is a public forum it is recommended that individuals not use their full name or give out personal information or specific details concerning your disorder.

Individuals posting here must also realize that the content of the posts cannot be controlled. There are no qualified doctors to diagnose or treat your disorder. We offer advice, opinions, online resources and mutual support.

If you wish to post information that you feel might be considered disturbing or triggering to others, it is recommended that you lead your post with the words 'trigger warning' and a number of spaces so that a person can avoid reading something when they are not ready.

Under no circumstances are any posts made to the newsgroup to be used as part of a research paper, seminar or lecture without the express permission of the person who made the post. If you wish to gather some information for such a purpose, please just ask and leave your email address along with the specifics of your research. While we don't like information posted there being used without permission, we also recognize that your research may enable more people to become aware of our disorder and in return make it easier for someone out there to benefit from your knowledge.

Above all, it is a support forum. We discourage arguments, insults, personal attacks, foul language (except in venting situations) and anything that provokes an adversarial response. This type of behavior is contrary to what people look for, which is support. We share information and experiences that enable people who thought they were alone to join into a community of others that can relate to what they are experiencing.

For additional information the websites listed below contain a wealth of information concerning PTSD:

Diagnostic Criteria for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The following is the American description of the diagnostic criteria required to be diagnosed with PTSD. Please use this description as a guide only and consult a qualified physician, psychologist, social worker or psychiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

For more information you can check out

A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:

1. the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others

2. the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Note: In children, this may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior

B. The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in one (or more) of the following ways:

1. recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Note: In young children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of the trauma are expressed.

2. recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: In children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content.

3. acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those that occur on awakening or when intoxicated). Note: In young children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.

4. intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event

5. physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event

C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

1. efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma

2. efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma

3. inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma

4. markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities

5. feeling of detachment or estrangement from others

6. restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)

7. sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)

D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma), as indicated by two (or more) of the following:

1. difficulty falling or staying asleep

2. irritability or outbursts of anger

3. difficulty concentrating

4. hypervigilance

5. exaggerated startle response

E. Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criteria B, C, and D) is more than 1 month.

F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Acute: if duration of symptoms is less than 3 months

Chronic: if duration of symptoms is 3 months or more

Last Updated 19 January 2001