PTSD treatment in light of DSM-5 and the "golden hours" concept

CNS Spectr. 2016 Aug;21(4):279-82. doi: 10.1017/S109285291600016X. Epub 2016 Jul 13.


One of the main changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) was the separation of Stress Related Disorders from the Anxiety chapter. This separation paves the way to examine the unique characteristics of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (ie, identifiable onset, memory processes, etc) and related neural mechanisms. The time that elapses between the traumatic event and the manifestation of the disorder may also be addressed as the "golden hours," or the window of opportunity in which critical processes take place and relevant interventions may be administrated.

Keywords: Benzodiazepines; HPA axis; PTSD; golden hours; stress related disorders; window of opportunity.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / classification*
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / classification*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Traumatic, Acute / drug therapy
  • Time Factors


  • Benzodiazepines