Prognosis in PTSD varies widely. Rarely, even with intensive intervention, individuals experience worsening symptoms and commit suicide, a graphic reminder of how difficult PTSD symptoms can be for the patient. The average duration of symptoms is 36 months in patients who receive treatment and 64 months in those who don't. More than one third of people with PTSD never fully recover; for these patients, PTSD is a lifelong disorder.
Factors associated with a good prognosis include:
Treatment soon after the traumatic event
Early and ongoing social support
Avoidance of retraumatization
Positive function prior to the event
Absence of other psychiatric disorders or substance abuse
Patients who experienced peritraumatic tonic immobility during the traumatic event have a poor response to pharmacologic treatment.
To learn more about the prognosis for PTSD, read here.
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Cite this: Stephen Soreff. Psychiatry Fast Five Quiz: What Do You Know About Post-traumatic Stress Disorder? - Medscape - Jan 30, 2017.