Injustice and Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder (PTED)

Dire stressors are injustice, humiliation, or betrayal, which can occur in all areas of life. This can result in embitterment. Similar to anxiety, this emotion can in greater intensity have a severe impact on the person and the environment. A special type of reaction is described as “Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder”, PTED (ICD-10 F 43.8).


        For the assessment of reactive embitterment the PTED-self rating scale was developed. Translations in many languages are available.


         For the diagnosis of PTED a standardized interview was developed.

     Diagnostic core criteria are

     (1) an eliciting experience of injustice, humiliation, or betrayal,                        

     (2) the prevailing emotion of embitterment related to this event,                           

     (3) severe emotional reactions, when the patient is reminded of the event,                     

     (4) thoughts of revenge and aggression towards the perpetrator or aqssociated parties,

     (5) repetetive intrusive recollections of the event. In part, it is even important for the patient not to forget.

     (6) The general emotion is dysphoric-aggressive.

     (7) Emotional modulation is unimpaired in contrast to depression. The patient shows normal affect when distracted, or can smile at the thought of revenge. Additional symptoms are

     (8) unspecific somatic symptoms like sleep disorders, loss of appetite or pain,

     (9) phobic avoidance of place or persons related to the critical event,

     (10) a reduction in drive and energy,

     (11) self reproaches for not having prevented the event,

     (12) a desire to show to the world what has happened,

     (13) thoughts of suicide and even murder suicide.

     (14) The symptomatology cannot be explained by a pre-existing other mental illness.


         A number of studies on this emotion have been done in the FPR or international researchers.

Research database

For more details please use the Charité undefinedresearch database.