The Effects Of Stress And Trauma On The Human Psyche

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The impact of stress and trauma upon the human psyche continues to challenge and inform researchers and clinicians who work in this field. Internal responses to trauma often precede development of defenses and coping mechanisms which are normal reactions to abnormal or recurring traumatic situations or experiences (American Psychiatric Association, 1980). The impact and imprint of trauma on the human psyche can lead to a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in some adults and children (Barlow, 2014; Courtois & Ford, 2013; Soloman & Siegel, 2003; Yarhouse, Butman & McRay, 2005). This paper will explore PTSD as it is understood within the field of psychology and neuroscience beginning with a brief look its historical development in the American Psychiatric Associations’ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to the most current DSM-5th edition. The epidemiology and etiology of PTSD will focus primarily on the adult population with some attention given to the implications for children. Therapeutic goals, assessment tools, and recommended treatment approaches for the three phases of treatment will be summarized. Remarks will be offered on research findings on treatment outcomes. Observations from current data and emerging trends in PTSD will conclude this work. The influence of war on soldiers and civilians has been a source for the study of trauma and the development of descriptions for it. Following World War II the American Armed Forces
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