Trauma-based conditions are difficult mental health conditions to live with. Because of this, seeking treatment is of imperative importance.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the most well-known trauma-based condition, though other disorders exist. Each need treatment.

An appointment with a Doctor will lead to a discussion about symptoms, and a decision regarding the next steps.

Many people find that getting a diagnosis is very helpful

What is PTSD & Trauma Conditions

PTSD & Trauma-based conditions: PTSD and Trauma-based conditions refer to the various conditions that involve traumatic events or memories. They develop due to being involved in or seeing a distressing or frightening event. Whilst Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the best-known condition in this area, other conditions exist too. These conditions can have a marked impact on an individual’s life. But with the right treatment, recovery is possible.

Initial assessment

To begin with, a person should seek help from their GP. At an appointment, an initial discussion and assessment can take place.

Traumatic and upsetting events are very difficult to relive, and ultimately come to terms with. But at an appointment, a GP will need to carry out an initial assessment regarding the feelings and behaviour of the individual – and whether or not the symptoms of PTSD or another disorder are exhibited.

If they believe the individual is suffering from a trauma-related condition, they will be referred to a mental health specialist.

Discussion with Mental Health specialist

A mental health specialist will then undertake a detailed assessment. Symptoms of PTSD need to have been present for at least 1 month for a diagnosis to be made.

If symptoms last under than a month, Acute Stress Disorder might be a more relevant diagnosis. If the condition is deemed to be due to an upsetting event, rather than traumatic, Adjustment Disorder is the most relevant diagnosis.

The specialist’s assessment will include questions regarding the traumatic/upsetting event. While it will be difficult to return to the event, it is a necessary part of diagnosis.

It is crucial each question is answered truthfully – which can assist in diagnosis. A family history of mental illness may be requested to assist in diagnosis.

By getting a full picture of how a condition is affecting an individual, a doctor can tailor a treatment plan to fit the specific symptoms.

Is there a diagnostic criteria?

The exact criteria will depend on the exact type of trauma-based condition. But generally, the following symptoms will need to be present:

  • Re-experiencing
  • Avoidance
  • Psychological-based

You can read more about the symptoms of PTSD & Trauma-based conditions here.

It is possible for PTSD to be misdiagnosed. It produces similar symptoms to some anxiety disorders, Depression and substance abuse disorders.

Alternatively, it is possible for a different condition to be diagnosed, if the symptoms fit better than those associated with trauma.

Diagnosis of PTSD or Complex PTSD

Complex PTSD is diagnosed in a similar way. An initial appointment is necessary, before a subsequent assessment from a mental health specialist.

The specialist should be able to differentiate between PTSD and Complex PTSD, which should be reflected in the diagnosis.


The sooner an individual seeks help for their trauma-related condition, the better. It can be very challenging to discuss a traumatic event, but it can help in the long-term.

Getting a diagnosis can aid the treatment process. Treatment can certainly help, and in many cases will lead to recovery.

See Also

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If you are struggling with your mental health, help is available. With the right support and treatment, you can make a recovery. For information on helplines, or if you are in a state of crisis, please visit our crisis page by clicking on the relevant link for your geographical location (United Kingdom), (United States), (International). You can also see how to get mental health treatment and the process involved by clicking this link.