What is a PTSD Test?
Many people have the unfortunate experience to witness or be involved in a traumatic situation. Most recover from these incidents; however, the pain of the trauma may stay with certain individuals, leading to development of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While it is normal to experience anxiety and stress after a disaster or a horrible event, it is important to take note when these symptoms get in the way of living a normal life. Therefore, taking a PTSD test is imperative to getting PTSD treatment to improve the condition.
What is a PTSD Test?
Diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder is made by a trained medical professional. A doctor will evaluate PTSD symptoms reported by the patient, as well as employ other psychiatric testing, as necessary. The diagnostic criteria used in a PTSD test is prescribed by the American Psychiatric Association. These standards can be found in the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V).
First, it is important to evaluate whether there has been a significantly traumatic event in the patient’s past. Next, the physician will take a measure of relevant symptoms.; according to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of PTSD are typically categorized using the following four terms: avoidance, negative mood changes, intrusive thoughts or memories, and changes in emotional reactions. The final criteria that is required for a diagnosis of PTSD is duration, level of impact and whether there is a co-occurring medical condition responsible. The PTSD test consists of eight parts:
Trauma: The cornerstone of post traumatic stress disorder is that a traumatic incident acts as the catalyst of negative mental and/or cognitive effects. This event usually involves extreme violence, the threat of violence or death. The most affecting events are experienced firsthand, but the trauma may be experienced secondhand through description or re-telling.
Mood Changes: According to Help Guide, changes in mood are frequently associated with PTSD. These experiences may be mild or they may develop into additional mental conditions, such as depression or anxiety. Feelings of numbness or hopelessness may become overwhelming as a result of PTSD.
Intrusive Memories: The memory of the event often intrudes into the mind of the person suffering from PTSD. These thoughts are often incredibly painful and disturbing.
Emotional Reactions: Someone affected by PTSD may show a change in emotional behavior. Following the traumatic event, a PTSD sufferer may show this emotional shift through irritability, unreasonable guilt or shame, and/or self-destructive behavior.
Duration, Impact and Exclusion: A PTSD diagnosis requires that symptoms be present for at least one month. It is also necessary that the symptoms displayed are inhibiting functioning in some way, i.e. causing occupational or social disturbances. These criteria are in place to establish that the symptoms being displayed are not a normal response to trauma.
When a PTSD test is performed, it is imperative to check for co-existing diseases or conditions that could be confusing the diagnosis. For example, it is important to make sure that there is not an issue of substance abuse that is mimicking the presentation of this disorder.
Pre-Screening for a PTSD Test
There are numerous tests available online to help you evaluate whether you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD. Completing one of these checklists, such as the one provided by Healthy Place, is not a substitute for professional assessment, but can be a helpful tool in deciding whether to pursue formal testing.
Once diagnosed, those suffering from PTSD can enter into a paid medical study in Los Angeles. These clinical trials are held to try to find a cure for PTSD symptoms. Those that are included in the trial can have access to PTSD medication, as well as lab work and doctor care.
When a major trauma occurs, it is important to take steps to resolve it as quickly as possible. Although time is the most critical factor in recovery, there are also steps that can be taken in order to treat PTSD, including medications and psychotherapy. Therefore, it is imperative that proper testing takes place so that treatment can be prescribed.
To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for PTSD or other forms of medical issues, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.