After nearly 25 years, the DSM-V has finally been released! The diagnoses of PTSD and ASD have been significantly revised based upon recent research. Most notably, PTSD and ASD have been moved from anxiety disorders to new category “Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders.” In addition, in DSM-IV and DSM IV-TR, PTSD and ASD were distinct. ASD was not a diluted version of PTSD, but an early response characterized primarily by an emphasis on dissociative qualities.
In graduate school I was interested in the role of child abuse and spirituality/religiousness on psychological health. I examined the impact of child abuse on positive and negative religious coping among combat veterans with PTSD. Through my clinical experience working with Veterans, I came to discover the unique role chaplains have in quality of life, especially psychological well-being. For some Veterans, it was less stigmatizing to speak with a chaplain than a mental health provider. For others, they found comfort in the confidentiality that clergy provided. Although, this was not a surprise, it highlighted the importance of mental health providers learning more about chaplaincy and possible collaboration between the disciplines.