Psychological Responses to Trauma

Research and clinical experience indicate that exposure to traumatic events can result in a wide variety of initial and long-lasting psychological outcomes. Some trauma survivors, especially those who have experienced interpersonal victimization, also may have a history of childhood abuse or neglect, which can be associated with even more severe and complex psychological reactions. This entry summarizes the main psychological effects of trauma, simple and more complex, as they present in adults.

Posttraumatic Stress

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was first introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III) in 1980, primarily based on exposure to the Vietnam War. The current DSM-IV-TR criteria require that the traumatic event represent a threat to physical integrity, for self or others, and an intense negative emotional ...

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