1. How do mental health professionals distinguish symptoms of Agoraphobia from Avoidance and hyper vigilance symptoms of PTSD? According to this first guideline, a person shouldn’t be diagnosed because they stay away from certain places or situations because of their fear of escape. Questions need to be asked like, what is the actual reason for the avoidance? Based on the findings, then a diagnosis can be determined to which disorder best fits the avoidance behavior. A case study on a Vietnam veteran who stayed away from malls, VA hospital, and restaurants, because his chest would tighten up, his heart would start racing, followed by the sweats and trembling. He said he only avoided places that reminded him of Vietnam. He was diagnosed with a panic disorder without agoraphobia, because this place reminded him of his experiences in Vietnam.
2. Are symptoms apparently due to specific phobias actually avoidance symptoms of PTSD? This second guideline tries to determine whether symptoms of specific phobias (i.e., being scared of heights, certain animals, the dark, ect.) correlate to avoidance symptoms of (PTSD). Many people have normal phobias, so asking for the reason of their fear will help determine the diagnoses. Specific phobias are diagnosed only if fear was not related to a traumatic event. A study with a Vietnam veteran who had a phobia about being on the telephone, linked back to a headset that was shot out of his hand. Therefore, this phobia is linked to PTSD and not a specific phobia. Then another case study showed, a Vietnam veteran who had a snake phobia. Even though snakes were an issue in Vietnam, he had this phobia before the military. In this case he was diagnosed with a specific phobia.
3. When are hallucinations symptoms of PTSD?