Working with Differential Diagnoses and PTSD
PTSD is not the only disorder that may be triggered by a traumatic event. Other diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, psychosis-related disorders, personality disorders, and dissociative disorders could also come into play. Being able to navigate through the multitude of possibilities is a part of doing good trauma treatment.
I like to tell my clients I have a number of hypothesis in my back pocket and as we continue to work together, and I get to know them and their story I am narrowing those hypothesis down. This works well when there is no outside time factor such as insurance demanding a diagnosis after the intake session. In these situations, I try to take what I know and give the best diagnosis at the time, knowing that in some cases it may change as time passes and more information is revealed.
Below are three things I discuss in this week’s vlog.
1.Be willing to update your diagnosis as times past.
2. Understand that a trauma survivor might not be forthcoming with assessment information in the beginning.
3. Be open to the idea of comorbid diagnoses.
Taking your time and being open to continual updates to the diagnosis as the client’s treatment unfolds is one way to ensure the client is being given the best trauma treatment possible. Trauma is complex and how it shows up in a person’s system and day to day to experiences can be complex. Giving yourself space and time to really understand the client and their symptoms ensure you provide the most accurate diagnosis and best possible care.