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31 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 725 (2008)
Symptoms of Trauma among Political Asylum Applicants: Don't Be Fooled

handle is hein.journals/hasint31 and id is 741 raw text is: Symptoms of Trauma Among Political
Asylum Applicants: Don't Be Fooledt
I. What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Since 1981, mental health clinicians have recognized Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a psychiatric disorder that
comprises a constellation of symptoms directly resulting from
trauma.'   PTSD    is diagnosed   by psychiatrists, psychologists,
psychiatric social workers, marriage and family therapists, and other
mental health clinicians who have spent sufficient time with the
trauma survivor to elicit the symptoms.    There are also many
standardized interviews and survey instruments, used commonly in
research settings, that can also generate this diagnosis.2
PTSD occurs only in trauma survivors, and, by definition, the
trauma must be perceived as life threatening, and in many cases
actually is life threatening. Typical examples include torture, physical
and sexual assaults, natural disasters, and motor vehicle accidents. As
a result of the trauma(s), the survivor suffers from symptoms such as
unwanted memories, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks of
the event.
Because these reminders of the original trauma are often quite
disturbing, PTSD sufferers go to great lengths to avoid triggering any
sort of reminder, and will therefore, by definition, shun places,
t This article is a companion piece with Karen Musalo and Marcelle Rice's article.
University of California, San Francisco Department of Psychiatry, 401 Parnassus
Ave Box 0984F, San Francisco CA 94143. slustig@.ppi.ucsf.edu.
MANUAL (3d ed. 1981).
2. There are many examples: the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS),
the PTSD Reaction Index (PTSD-RI), the PTSD sections of the Structured Clinical
Interview for DSM Disorders (SCID), and the Composite International Diagnostic
Interview (CIDI).

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