This article traces the historical views that led to development of current scientific perspectives of the diagnostical concept post-traumatic stress disorder. Examples of the catastrophic precipitants of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as war, natural and man-made disasters, and rape are presented, and a description of the current clinical perspective is provided. Because post-traumatic stress disorder often involves all aspects of a person's life, the use of multimodal therapy soon after the trauma is experienced is recommended to prevent the symptoms from occurring.

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