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Biological Effects of Physical and Psychological Trauma

Our ability to cope with stressful events is dependent on many factors, not all of which are clearly defined or well understood. Humans typically have the necessary skills to effectively cope with low-grade stressors. Examples include coping with the death of a favorite pet, having a minor car accident, or receiving a speeding ticket. However, people may not always be capable of effectively coping with severe stress. Examples include exposure to wartime trauma, childhood sexual abuse, rape or attempted rape, emotional or physical abuse of a partner, natural disasters, serious physical injury, and medical emergencies.

The salient phenomena of the consequences of the biological effects of physical and psychological trauma are typically referenced under the rubric of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

History of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Among early ...

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