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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Comorbidity: Recognizing the Many Faces of PTSD

Kathleen T. Brady, M.D., Ph.D.

Published: March 1, 1997

Article Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly occurs with other psychiatric disorders. Datafrom a recent epidemiologic survey indicate that approximately 80% of individuals with PTSD meetcriteria for at least one other psychiatric diagnosis. PTSD is particularly likely to be comorbid withaffective disorders, other anxiety disorders, somatization, substance abuse, and dissociative disorders.Comorbidity may affect the presentation and clinical course of PTSD. Because of the relative frequencyof traumatic events and the heterogeneity of presentation of PTSD, screening for traumaticevents and PTSD should be standard in both psychiatric and primary care practice. Additionally, individualswith PTSD should be screened for psychiatric comorbidity. Accurate assessment of comorbiditymay be important in determining optimal psychotherapeutic and pharmacotherapeutic treatmentoptions for individuals with PTSD.

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Volume: 58

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