Differential Diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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A. Depression is also associated with insomnia, anhedonia, poor concentration, and feelings of detachment. A stressful event may be associated with the onset of depression. Depression is not commonly associated with nightmares or flashbacks of a traumatic event.

B. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. OCD is associated with recurrent intrusive ideas. However, these ideas lack a relationship to a specific traumatic event, and they are not usually recollections of past events.

C. Malingering. PTSD may be an illness for which monetary compensation is given. The presence of a primary financial gain for which patients may fabricate or exaggerate symptoms should be considered during evaluation.

D. Anxiety Disorders. Other anxiety disorders can cause symptoms of increased arousal, numbing, and avoidance. Symptoms, however, often were present before the traumatic event.

E. Borderline Personality Disorder. Borderline personality disorder can be associated with anhedonia, poor concentration, past history of emotional trauma and dissociative states similar to flashbacks. Other features of BPD such as avoidance of abandonment, identity disturbance, and impulsivity will distinguish BPD from PTSD.

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