Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders: Psychological Factors

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), formed a new chapter covering trauma- and stressor-related disorders, to categorize disorders involving the exposure to a traumatic or stressful event. This set of disorders are unique within DSM-5 for requiring an external trigger, after which the individual does not effectively process the stressor, resulting in functional impairment. This entry summarizes the symptoms associated with these disorders and the psychological factors underlying them.

Trauma- and stressor-related disorders range from long-lasting psychological impairment triggered by a serious traumatic incident to transient stress responses in the initial posttrauma period, to maladaptive emotional and behavioral responses following nontraumatic stressors. Grouping this set of disorders in a specific stress-related category enables clinicians to differentiate normal, ...

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