New York State Medical Treatment Guidelines for Ovierview for post traumatic stress disorders in workers compensation patients

The guidelines provided by the New York State Workers Compensation Board offer a comprehensive overview of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These directives aim to assist healthcare professionals in gaining a thorough understanding of PTSD, providing insights into the condition’s nature and characteristics.

Healthcare practitioners seeking an overview of PTSD can rely on the guidance from the Workers Compensation Board to obtain well-informed perspectives on the disorder.

It is important to emphasize that this overview is not intended to replace clinical judgment or professional expertise. The ultimate understanding and management of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder should involve collaboration between the patient and their healthcare provider.

Understanding PTSD/ASD:

When someone has been through or witnessed a really tough or scary event, it can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Acute Stress Disorder (ASD). These are mental health conditions that show up in people dealing with serious injuries, life-threatening situations, assault, or other extremely challenging social or natural events. To officially diagnose PTSD and ASD, according to the DSM-5 (that’s the fifth edition of the manual for mental disorders), there needs to be a clear experience or exposure to significant trauma.

Acute Stress Disorder is what we call it when symptoms stick around for 3 to 30 days after a tough event. But if these symptoms last even longer, beyond 30 days, that’s when we start thinking about a PTSD diagnosis.

Recognizing PTSD Symptoms:

PTSD has various signs, but it’s not something we see every day. The signs might include:

– Reliving the event or having flashbacks
– Unwanted, intrusive memories that pop up
– Nightmares or really unsettling dreams
– Scary thoughts that won’t go away
– Avoiding places or things that remind us of the tough experience
– Steering clear of thoughts or feelings tied to the event
– Feeling restless or on edge
– Getting startled easily or being extra alert
– Always being on the lookout for danger
– Feeling tense and stressed out
– Struggling with sleep
– Dealing with anger issues and having explosive outbursts
– Negative thoughts about ourselves or the world around us
– Having mixed-up feelings like guilt or blame
– Trouble remembering important details of the traumatic event
– Losing interest in things we used to enjoy
– Feeling disconnected or detached from friends and family



ASD: Prognosis

When we talk about Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), it’s important to know that getting this diagnosis doesn’t mean we can accurately predict whether someone will later develop PTSD. It’s more about recognizing those who are going through a tough time in the first month and might benefit from mental health services. ASD is just a modest indicator of PTSD; surprisingly, at least half of those who end up with PTSD didn’t initially meet the criteria for acute stress disorder.

PTSD: Prognosis

PTSD is a complex thing. It can have a significant impact on people’s lives, but here’s the hopeful part – there’s a good amount of evidence showing that PTSD can be effectively treated using established and proven methods we’ll discuss shortly. Even though dealing with PTSD is intricate, the overall outlook is positive, with the majority of people recovering and going on to lead fulfilling lives. Only a small percentage (around 4-22%) end up with chronic PTSD.


Treatment Overview

ASD: Navigating the Aftermath

When it comes to Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), it’s crucial to understand that having this diagnosis doesn’t mean we can perfectly foresee someone developing chronic PTSD. ASD simply identifies those who’ve recently faced trauma and are dealing with intense distress. Now, during the initial phase, offering Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) emerges as the most effective strategy to help prevent PTSD down the road. Sometimes, based on the unique circumstances of each case, there might be subtle tweaks to the treatment approach. These adjustments should only happen when the provider can back them up with solid, medically evidence-based reasoning.

PTSD: Nurturing Mental Well-being

When managing PTSD, the go-to initial move is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which can involve a mix of different methods. Exposure therapy, like prolonged exposure therapy, virtual reality training, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), often becomes part of CBT and has its own proof of effectiveness, although it’s not as commonly used. No matter what psychological or psychiatric intervention is chosen, it’s essential to have a well-thought-out assessment and treatment plan. This plan should have clear behavioral goals, set time frames, and specific interventions laid out.

Pharmacological Support

ASD: Medications Not the Go-To – When it comes to dealing with Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), turning to medications isn’t the recommended path.

PTSD: Medications in the Mix – Now, for grappling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), medications step into the spotlight as a key player. The frontline here includes SSRI and SNRI antidepressants, with Paroxetine and Sertraline having the FDA’s stamp of approval for treating PTSD.

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