Another population that is showing emerging increase in PTSD is fire-fighters. More and more cases of major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are coming to light, making it important for understanding of the conditions and therefore development of effective treatments.
Feczer and Bjorklund (2009) define PTSD as “ an anxiety disorder characterized by a triad of symptoms following exposure or trauma, including persistent re-experiencing of the traumatic stressors through flashbacks, nightmares, and/or intrusive thoughts, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma along with the numbing or general unresponsiveness; and persistent symptoms of increased arousal” (p.278). PTSD is classified as an anxiety disorder since although anxiety has many of the symptoms and signs of fear, it also lingers long after the event and the threat associated with it have passed. This is perhaps the most unique characteristic of PTSD. Vieweg et al (2006) follow the development of the definition. In 1980 the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders first described PTSD as an anxiety disorder. In a later revision in 1987 the diagnostic criteria were revised to emphasize the avoidance phenomenon and in the 1994 edition trauma was redefined. The definition of trauma is important to the understanding of how it is applied to PTSD. Grant et al (2008) define a trauma as “an event involving actual or threatened loss of life or personal integrity such that one experiences extreme fear, helplessness or horror” (p.662). The American Psychiatric Association expands the explanation of the traumatic event saying that it must involve actual or threatened death or serious injury of a threat to one’s physical being. Witnessing the actual death or threat to another’s