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PTSD: National Center for PTSD


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DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD



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DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association revised the PTSD diagnostic criteria in the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) (1).

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Note that DSM-5 introduced a preschool subtype of PTSD for children ages six years and younger.

Diagnostic criteria for PTSD include a history of exposure to a traumatic event that meets specific stipulations and symptoms from each of four symptom clusters: intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. The sixth criterion concerns duration of symptoms; the seventh assesses functioning; and, the eighth criterion clarifies symptoms as not attributable to a substance or co-occurring medical condition.

Two specifications are noted including delayed expression and a dissociative subtype of PTSD, the latter of which is new to DSM-5. In both specifications, the full diagnostic criteria for PTSD must be met for application to be warranted.

PTSD Criteria

PTSD is included in a new chapter in DSM-5, Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders. For a review of the DSM-5 changes to the criteria for PTSD, see the American Psychiatric Association fact sheet on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder*.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
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