‘Protocol is to directly send PTSD patients to counsellors’

Namrata Devikar
Tuesday, 26 June 2018

With the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) issued by World Health Organisation (WHO), a series on mapping the changing patterns of diseases based on social perspectives. ICD also captures factors influencing health, or external causes of mortality and morbidity, providing a holistic look at every aspect of life that can affect health.

Pune: In the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), the World Health Organisation (WHO) has included fewer diagnostics terms for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which will allow easier diagnostics to identify and treat PTSD. 

According to the WHO, PTSD is a syndrome that develops following exposure to an extremely threatening or horrific event or series of events that is characterized by re-experiencing the traumatic event or events in the present in the form of vivid intrusive memories, flashbacks or nightmares, which are typically accompanied by strong and overwhelming emotions such as fear or horror and strong physical sensations, or feelings of being overwhelmed or immersed in the same intense emotions that were experienced during the traumatic event. 

This includes avoidance of thoughts and memories of the event or avoidance of activities, situations or people reminiscent of the events and persistent perceptions of heightened current threat or an enhanced startle reaction to stimuli such as unexpected noises. The symptoms must persist for at least several weeks and cause significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning, states WHO. 

Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Fiyaz Pasha, Head of the Trauma and Emergency Services at Jehangir Hospital said that the PTDS in adults needs counseling and proper care. “In emergency many times an PTSD comes but we cannot label him that here. We have protocols to directly send this patient to counsellors in hospitals as the patients may suffer suicidal tendencies. These tendencies should be addressed by proper counsellors,” said Pasha. 

He added that in ICD-11 screening and assessment of young child PTSD is included. “If children go through a traumatic incident again they might suffer PTSD. But the number that comes to the hospital is very less. However, if a child goes through a traumatic incident he should be counseled,” said Pasha. 
Sharing his views about PTSD among adults, Dr Datta Shete, Resident Doctor from Sassoon General Hospital (SGH) said many relatives of patients are in a state of shock after an emergency incident. 

“In terminal illness relatives are ready. However, in case of emergency cases of accidents, relatives are not able to understand the situation. In this time, as resident doctors we try to speak to them and make them understand the situation. Also, when patient is in the ward and after a brief stay at the hospital he loses the battle of life, many close relative self-blame themselves for the situation. In all of these cases, the condition is not addressed in the initial stage,” said Dr Shete. 

He added that it is needed to put in place a system of counselling to address these issues of caregivers at the hospitals.

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