An Atypical Presentation of Trauma-related Disorder in Geriatric Patients
Patients older than 65 years who have experienced trauma in earlier years tend to present differently compared to the younger age group. This atypical or complicated presentation is sometimes masked by the presence of comorbid diagnoses, role changes and functional loss such as cognitive impairment. This is a case report of a 75-year-old female with a history of multiple traumatic events that presented with disorganized behavior and appeared internally preoccupied. On further evaluation, her symptomatology was found to be tied to re-experiencing memories of the traumatic events. In elderly patients like our patient, the clinical presentation may not meet the full DSM-5 criteria for Trauma and Stress-related
Disorders; however, remembering or reliving the trauma could cause considerable distress and present as some other psychiatric illness. This makes it imperative that a thorough evaluation and exploration of the past psychiatric history of patients with the history of trauma be done for a definitive diagnosis, and effective management.