Health care professionals need to reassess their definition of
post-traumatic stress disorder, as the condition is increasingly being used to
label a growing list of relatively commonplace events, according to research.
A "trauma industry" has built up around the condition, said Dr
Derek Summerfield, honorary senior lecturer at London’s St George’s Hospital
Medical School, writing in the British Medical Journal.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, which was originally framed to apply only to
extreme experiences such as war, was increasingly becoming associated with, for
instance, muggings, accidents, a difficult labour, verbal or sexual harassment.
"Increasingly, the workplace in Britain is being portrayed as
traumatogenic even for those who are just doing their jobs – police constables
on duty at disasters, and even employees caught up in what would once have been
described as a straightforward dispute with management," Dr Summerfield