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Old 08-14-2011
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Psyche Recurrent intrusive thoughts and easy startling!

A 24-year-old secretary is walking home from work late one night and is accosted by a man with a ski mask who robs her. Six weeks later, the woman still has recurrent, intrusive thoughts about the experience, and states that she feels "numb" and is easily startled whenever she sees a stranger on the street. Three months after the incident, the symptoms have largely subsided. In all likelihood, this patient will experience which of the following?

A. Gradual deterioration in functioning
B. No recurrence of symptoms
C. Persistent "flashbacks"
D. Recurrent depression E. Visual and auditory hallucinations
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Old 08-14-2011
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no recurrence, my guess
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B. No recurrence of symptoms
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Old 08-14-2011
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B. No recurrence of symptoms
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Old 08-15-2011
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Correct Answer B) No recurrence of symptoms

The correct answer is B. No recurrence of symptoms. '

Explanation -

The woman described was suffering from acute posttraumatic stress disorder. This condition is triggered by exposure to a traumatic event involving the threat of death or serious bodily harm to oneself or others, especially in a situation in which the person is helpless and/or intensely fearful. Acute posttraumatic stress disorder is characterized by symptom duration of less than 3 months, and is generally followed by a full recovery.

Acute posttraumatic stress disorder is not accompanied by a gradual deterioration in functioning (choice A), as is seen in psychotic states and dementia.

Persistent flashbacks (choice C) are associated with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder, which is characterized by symptoms lasting more than 3 months. The chronic form carries a much worse prognosis than acute posttraumatic stress disorder.

Recurrent depression (choice D) is not associated with uncomplicated acute posttraumatic stress disorder.

Visual and auditory hallucinations (choice E) may occur with acute posttraumatic stress disorder, but would not be expected to continue beyond 3 months. If this did occur, the diagnosis of chronic posttraumatic stress
disorder should be considered.
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