Disorders of extreme stress: The empirical foundation of a complex adaptation to trauma.

Published

Journal Article

Children and adults exposed to chronic interpersonal trauma consistently demonstrate psychological disturbances that are not captured in the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. The DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) Field Trial studied 400 treatment-seeking traumatized individuals and 128 community residents and found that victims of prolonged interpersonal trauma, particularly trauma early in the life cycle, had a high incidence of problems with (a) regulation of affect and impulses, (b) memory and attention, (c) self-perception, (d) interpersonal relations, (e) somatization, and (f) systems of meaning. This raises important issues about the categorical versus the dimensional nature of posttraumatic stress, as well as the issue of comorbidity in PTSD. These data invite further exploration of what constitutes effective treatment of the full spectrum of posttraumatic psychopathology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • van der Kolk, BA; Roth, S; Pelcovitz, D; Sunday, S; Spinazzola, J

Published Date

  • October 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 389 - 399

PubMed ID

  • 16281237

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16281237

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6598

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0894-9867

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/jts.20047

Language

  • eng