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7/11/2017· Psychiatry

Civil Litigation and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By: Dr. Burt Singerman

An ever-increasing number of plaintiffs are claiming post-traumatic stress disorder. Why such a sudden, marked increase in litigation of this form? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was first described in the sixth century B.C. The symptoms associated with the illness have not changed, though the name of the condition itself has, naturally, changed. In World War I the disorder was labeled "shell shock," linking the condition to the close lines between battling armies and the continuous firing of munitions. In World War II, the condition came to be called "combat neurosis." The term "post-traumatic stress disorder" entered the psychiatric nomenclature with the 1980 publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd Edition.

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