“I Wouldn't Start From Here”—An Alternative Perspective on PTSD From the ICD-11: Comment on Friedman (2013)


  • Chris R. Brewin

    Corresponding author
    1. Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    • Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Chris R. Brewin, Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK. E-mail: c.brewin@ucl.ac.uk

    Search for more papers by this author

  • The author was a member of the WHO Advisory Group on Stress-Related Disorders for ICD-11. Any views expressed are not those of WHO or of the Advisory Group and do not in any way represent WHO policy.


This commentary briefly summarizes some of the criticism directed at the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.) including the issues of complexity and comorbidity, and offers a rationale for attempting a simpler approach to diagnosis that can be used in minimally resourced, non-English-speaking countries. Rather than describe comprehensively the features of PTSD, the World Health Organization in its upcoming edition of the International Classification of Diseases has opted to define a much smaller number of symptoms that will effectively discriminate PTSD from other related conditions. Parallel research on the two approaches to diagnosis promises to add greatly to our understanding of the condition.

Traditional and Simplified Chinese Abstracts by AsianSTSS