The final note in the diagnosis is that the symptoms have to last more than a month. Hahaha!
This is so ironic for those of us who went through psychiatry's denial and delusion period (1968-1980) when they dropped the diagnosis of "Gross stress reaction," meaning if you had been through a gross (big) stress it could affect you. The examples were a concentration camp or combat.
Based on NOTHING but arrogance, in 1968, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual II, the only stress reaction available was a "transient situational disturbance" which could only last 6 months. Any longer than that proved you were screwed up before you went and it had nothing to do with the war.
This caused a lot of deaths and is one reason why some Vietnam vets still won't go to the VA.
People were given personality disorders, a pre-existing condition so the VA was not responsible for your problems, bad conduct discharges, when people were having PTSD reactions. It was an ugly shameful period in the treatment of veterans.
The new veterans are getting the same crap, too.
Studies of people who are traumatized show that most of them have all of the symptoms of PTSD right afterwards (critical stress reaction), but some of them don't go on to get PTSD. That means it is a disorder of healing. As I have pointed out, telling your story is healing but if no one wants to hear it, if they just want to drug you or run you through a 12 week program that will "cure you", or any other one size fits all treatment, it is very hard to recover.
Denial rears it's head here. I'm fine, and you're nuts if you think I need help... Ever said that? Thought it? Sometimes people can see stuff you can't. Plus FINE is an acronym for F*cked up, Insecure, Neurotic and Egotistical.
It is very hard to accept that you might need help. It is totally un-American these days, but remember, people used to have much more time to talk before computers, Facebook, and cell phones.
On the plus side there are lots of online places to get help.
Tomorrow, how this affects families of people with PTSD.