Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Test - PTSD DSM Definition

Have you had the following symptoms for at least one month?

No (0)

Yes (1)

Exposure: Were you exposed to or threatened with: death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one or more of the following ways?

  • Directly exposed
  • Witnessed the trauma
  • Learned that a relative or close friend was exposed to the trauma
  • Indirectly exposed to details of the trauma, usually in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)

 

 

Reliving: Do you persistently relive the trauma, in one or more of the following ways?

 

 

  • Unwanted and/or upsetting memories
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Emotional distress, anxiety after exposure to traumatic reminders
  • Physical distress after exposure to traumatic reminders (chest tightness, difficulty breathing, racing heart, tremors, nausea, sweating)

 

 

Avoidance: Do you try to avoid reminders of the trauma, in one or more of the following ways?

 

 

  • Do you try to avoid distressing thoughts or feelings about the trauma?
  • Do you try to avoid external reminders of the trauma (people, places, things, conversations)?

 

 

Negativity: Do you have negative thoughts or feelings, which began or worsened after the trauma, in two or more of the following ways?

 

 

  • Hard to recall key features of the trauma
  • Negative mood
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Feel detached or isolated
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
  • Overly negative thoughts about yourself or the world
  • Exaggerated blame of yourself or others for causing the trauma

 

 

Adrenaline: Are you on heightened alert or easily triggered, which began or worsened after the trauma, in two or more of the following ways?

 

 

  • Hypervigilant
  • Heightened startle response
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritable or aggressive
  • Risky or self-destructive behavior

 

 

Your Score:

If you answered yes to all of the above criteria, you may meet the DSM definition of post-traumatic stress disorder. The criteria make up the acronym ARENA: Avoidance, Reliving, Exposure, Negativity, and Adrenaline. No single test is completely accurate. You should always consult your physician when making decisions about your health.

References

American Psychiatric Association, DSM-5 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5 ed, ed. D. Kupfer: American Psychiatric Association.

This document may be distributed without restrictions. Use with the guidance of a health professional.
Reference: "I Want to Change My Life" by Dr. S. Melemis.  www.IWantToChangeMyLife.org

Last Modified:September 21, 2018