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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2009 June;50(2):123-46

language: Italian

Post-traumatic stress disorder: an up-date

Bossini L., Tavanti M., Calassi S., Castrogiovanni P.

Dipartimento di Neuroscienze-Sezione di Psichiatria Centro per la diagnosi e la cura del DPTS Osservatorio nazionale per le vittime
del terrorismo e dell’eversione in Italia Università degli Studi di Siena, Siena, Italia


Epidemiological studies point to a prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ranging from 1% to 9% in the general population. This percentage reaches 50-60% in groups of subjects exposed to particularly traumatic events and shows gender difference, being the disorder more frequent among women. Moreover, a percentage of the general population as high as 39-90% is reported being exposed to potentially events. Authors describe etiopathogenetic and clinical aspects of PTSD, the only psychiatric disorder for which the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ diagnostic criteria include the causal element. This article analyzes the biological, psychopathological and therapeutic aspects of the disorder, with particular attention to approaches specific to PTSD. Among them, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is considered as a means of intervention that aims closely to the psychobiological core of the disorder.

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