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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a set of reactions that can develop in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event that threatens their life or safety (or others around them). This could be a car or other serious accident, physical or sexual assault, war-related events or torture, or a natural disaster such as bushfire or flood.
Other life-changing events such as being retrenched, getting divorced, or the death of a family member are very distressing, and may cause mental health problems, but are not generally considered traumatic events that can cause PTSD. That is not to say that these experiences cannot lead to extremely distressing recations that require immediate and professsional attention. It is not the time to get too caught abouyt "labels" - so feel free to complete the checklist and reach out to me. I shall be happy to consider how we might arrange appropriate support for you, wherever you might be located.
The PCL-5 is a 20 item self-report measure of the 20 DSM-V symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Included in the scale are four domains consistent with the four criterion of PTSD in DSM-5:
- Re-experiencing (criterion B)
- Avoidance (criterion C)
- Negative alterations in cognition and mood (criterion D)
- Hyper-arousal (criterion E)
The PCL-5 can be used to monitor symptom change, to screen for PTSD, or to make a provisional PTSD diagnosis.
The PCL-5 is a relatively new scale (released in 2013). Validation research points to the clinical utility of the PCL-5. All four criterion scales demonstrate high internal consistency (Cohen et al., 2015). There was also a high correlation of PTSD prevalence in a student sample (n = 2490) between the symptom severity (1.4% meeting PTSD criteria) and diagnostic classification scoring methods (1.3% meeting PTSD criteria) (Cohen et al., 2015).
To complete the PCL-5 online click here.
To download a pdf copy of the PCL-5 click here. This is a fillable pdf - in other words you can save the pdf and fill it out later on your PC. If your psychologist has directed you to this page then please email a copy of the filled out form back to them.