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Disorders of Extreme Stress: The Empirical Foundation of a Complex Adaptation to Trauma.

Van der Kolk et al.

Children and adults exposed to chronic interpersonal trauma consistently demonstrate psychological disturbances that are not captured in the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis.found that victims of prolonged interpersonal trauma, particularly trauma early in the life cycle, had a high incidence of problems with regulation of affect and impulses, memory and attention, self-perception, interpersonal relations, somatization, and 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.

Updated February 24, 2011.