PTSD: The Name Stays the Same

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Topics: PTSD

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Although there was talk about changing it, the name posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stays the same in DSM-5.

Within the military, there has been discussion about changing the name PTSD. “Certain military leaders, both active and retired, believe the word ‘disorder’ makes many soldiers who are experiencing PTSD symptoms reluctant to ask for help,” according to an American Psychiatric Association (APA) fact sheet describing the changes made to PTSD in the new manual. “They have urged a change to rename the disorder posttraumatic stress injury, a description that they say is more in line with the language of troops and would reduce stigma.”

“But others believe it is the military environment that needs to change, not the name of the disorder, so that mental healthcare is more accessible and soldiers are encouraged to seek it in a timely fashion,” the fact sheet stated.

The issue was discussed in a session at the 2012 APA annual meeting, where some attendees questioned whether injury is too imprecise a word for a medical diagnosis, according to the fact sheet. The APA ultimately decided against a name change in DSM-5, and PTSD will continue to be identified as a disorder.