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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: PTSD from Anorexia?

 kiri46 - Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:04 pm

I was wondering whether PTSD could occur after suffering from severe anorexia. It is a potentially fatal disease and I was near death myself and wonder whether the anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks and fear of it happening again could be PTSD related? Is anorexia 'bad' enough to be considered traumatic?
 Dr. K. Eisele - Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:34 pm

User avatar Kiri:

Personally, I think any event that causes you to fear for your life fits the definition of trauma. The DSM-IV (THE book) would also agree, if you read very carefully. The DSM does not state specifically what qualifies as a trauma; it only specifies that the event arouse feelings of intense fear, horror, or helplessness, and that the event involved actual threat of serious injury or death, or a threat to the physical integrity of another person.

For your symptoms to be classified as PTSD, the signs are:

1) re-experiencing the trauma
2) avoidance of people, things, or events that might remind one of the event, and numbing of general responsiveness
3) persistent symptoms of increased arousal (the patient startles very easily)
4) symptoms last for more than a month
5) symptoms cause clinically significant distress or significant impairment.

Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness is considered a traumatic event, and PTSD should be treated, preferably by a psychiatrist, with medications, and a therapist, with psychotherapy.

Please come back and let us know how things go for you.

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