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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Courtroom: Insanity Defence
American Journal of Applied Psychology
Volume 6, Issue 2, March 2017, Pages: 22-30
Received: Apr. 1, 2017; Accepted: Apr. 12, 2017; Published: Apr. 28, 2017
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Vito Zepinic, Psych Clinic, London, UK
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Since the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been recognised as an independent mental disorder [1] this disorder became leading disorder present in the courtroom. The definition of the psychological trauma and stressor-related disorders have had many changes in order to clarify diagnostic criterion of the disorder related to the exposure to traumatic or stressful event. However, as psychological distress following exposure to the traumatic event or stressful event is quite variable and, for the past more than three decades, the clinicians tried to establish the most reliable assessment and treatment techniques for PTSD. At the same time, the law faces its own dilemma about this disorder in particular when serious clinical case is charged for the offence. To both the medicine and the law it is clear that many individuals who have been exposed to the traumatic or stressful event exhibit a phenotype in which the most prominent clinical characteristics are anhedonic and dysphoric symptoms, externalizing anger and rage, dissociative symptoms, and relationship changes [2]. Subsequently, PTSD made its way into the courtroom as the outcomes of criminal defences for both violent and non-violent crime.
Mental Disorders, PTSD, Disorganised Self, Dissociation, Insanity Defence
To cite this article
Vito Zepinic, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Courtroom: Insanity Defence, American Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol. 6, No. 2, 2017, pp. 22-30. doi: 10.11648/j.ajap.20170602.12
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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