Date Published: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

In this episode Cheryl Buhay discusses PTSD. What we need to know and how we can look after ourselves in a pandemic to avoid this diagnosis.



  • 00:01 Intro
  • 01:13 examples or traumatic experiences?
  • 02:11 How common is PTSD in NZ?
  • 03:14 under lying mechanisms
  • 04:01 DSM- 5 criteria Cheryl what is this for PTSD?
  • 07:43 PTSD may be simple or complex- what briefly is the difference?
  • 09:23 How may a patient present to us in primary care?
  • 10:16 Diagnose in primary care or refer?
  • 12:56 non-pharmacological therapies.
  • 14:49 Pharmacotherapy
  • 15:31 When do we add on a second line?
  • 18:37 The effect of the pandemic on health professionals.
  • 22:50 Preventative measures we can take in NZ to help?
  • 27:16 take-home messages


Take-home messages

  • A trauma may be a single event or a series of traumas.
  • Screen for PTSD in those presenting with anxiety and as a possible comorbid condition for those who may present in other ways such as with depression or substance use disorder
  • Management is usually multi-modal and includes use of medications and psychological strategies
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with high mental health morbidity, not just for PTSD.  Therefore screen for mental health issues and address these promptly.
  • As health care professionals who have our own vulnerabilities and non-work related stressors, it is important that we look after ourselves and be willing to seek support sooner than later.




Cheryl Buhay

Dr Cheryl Buhay is an Otago Medical School graduate and Fellow of the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.  She is working for Waitemata DHB Specialist Mental Health Services as a Primary Care Liaison psychiatrist, providing specialist support to GP practices mainly within the West Auckland area.  She is involved in GP teaching and is a contributor of mental health resources to Auckland Regional HealthPathways.



Recognition of Learning Activities

Don't forget to log your time with The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners portal for recognition of learning activities.

RNZCGP website

This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.