For Experts

  • Currently not a diagnosis in the DSM or ICD.
  • In the context of mental health discussions, usually refers to a potentially psychologically traumatic event.
  • The DSM and ICD specify the types of potentially psychologically traumatic events that serve as criteria for a diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. (For details, see Psychologically Traumatic Event).
  • For clarity, the word “psychological” or “physical” should be used, as in “physically traumatic event” or “potentially psychologically traumatic event,” since not all potentially psychologically traumatic events cause physical trauma, and physically traumatic events are not necessarily psychologically traumatic.

For General Public

  • Currently not a diagnosis in the DSM or ICD.
  • In the context of mental health discussions, usually refers to a potentially psychologically traumatic event.
  • Using these terms without specifying “psychologically” or “physically” can cause confusion about the nature of the potentially traumatic stress or event.

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