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(Post-traumatic) embitterment disorder: critical evaluation of its stressor criterion and a proposed revised classification.


Dobricki, M; Maercker, Andreas (2010). (Post-traumatic) embitterment disorder: critical evaluation of its stressor criterion and a proposed revised classification. Nordic journal of psychiatry, 64(3):147-152.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In 2003, the German psychiatrist Michael Linden proposed the new mental disorder concept of "post-traumatic embitterment disorder (PTED)". PTED is defined as the mental reaction to a critical event that is normal, but not everyday, such as conflict at work. The patient sees this event as unjust and as a violation of basic beliefs. The principal aspect of the reaction pattern is a prolonged feeling of embitterment. AIM: In the present paper, the concept of PTED is systematically evaluated. Moreover, future developments in terms of diagnostic systems of mental disorders (ICD-11, DSM-V) are addressed. RESULTS: The evaluation of critical points concerning PTED revealed that the question of whether PTED is a mental disorder of the post-traumatic type cannot be finally answered. It is not possible to specify an empirical criterion by means of which traumatic and non-traumatic life events can be differentiated. An empirical criterion for determining the traumatic nature of a given event depends on whether this event has already been classified as traumatic (i.e. circular argument). CONCLUSIONS: For the purpose of a clear classification of embitterment disorders, the new concept of adjustment disorders of Andreas Maercker and co-workers is introduced. Based on the criteria and their findings, the best and most viable possibility to classify embitterment disorders in accordance with the current adjustment disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder definitions of ICD and DSM is by regarding embitterment disorders as a subtype of adjustment disorders.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In 2003, the German psychiatrist Michael Linden proposed the new mental disorder concept of "post-traumatic embitterment disorder (PTED)". PTED is defined as the mental reaction to a critical event that is normal, but not everyday, such as conflict at work. The patient sees this event as unjust and as a violation of basic beliefs. The principal aspect of the reaction pattern is a prolonged feeling of embitterment. AIM: In the present paper, the concept of PTED is systematically evaluated. Moreover, future developments in terms of diagnostic systems of mental disorders (ICD-11, DSM-V) are addressed. RESULTS: The evaluation of critical points concerning PTED revealed that the question of whether PTED is a mental disorder of the post-traumatic type cannot be finally answered. It is not possible to specify an empirical criterion by means of which traumatic and non-traumatic life events can be differentiated. An empirical criterion for determining the traumatic nature of a given event depends on whether this event has already been classified as traumatic (i.e. circular argument). CONCLUSIONS: For the purpose of a clear classification of embitterment disorders, the new concept of adjustment disorders of Andreas Maercker and co-workers is introduced. Based on the criteria and their findings, the best and most viable possibility to classify embitterment disorders in accordance with the current adjustment disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder definitions of ICD and DSM is by regarding embitterment disorders as a subtype of adjustment disorders.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:17 Sep 2010 15:14
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:15
Publisher:Informa Healthcare
ISSN:0803-9488
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3109/08039480903398185
PubMed ID:20148750

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