Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders: Overview

Trauma- and stressor-related disorders are the result of a cascade of events and reactions that begins with exposure to traumatic stressors and progresses from normative adaptive acute stress reactions to functional impairment due to maladaptive posttraumatic stress symptoms. Exposure to stressors is a risk factor for the onset of most mental health disorders, as well as a contributor to the etiology of many mental health disorders. Stressful life events (“stressors”) in general are events or experiences that evoke biological adaptations (e.g., freeze—a state of watchful alertness, fight, flight, or immobility—a state of physical collapse) that involve the mobilization or conservation of bodily resources to avoid, escape, neutralize, or recover from actual or threatened harm.

Adjustment disorder, one type of mental health disorder that is classified ...

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