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, 37 (3), 241-9

Stress-response Syndromes: A Review of Posttraumatic and Adjustment Disorders

Stress-response Syndromes: A Review of Posttraumatic and Adjustment Disorders

M J Horowitz. Hosp Community Psychiatry.

Abstract

The signs and symptoms of response to a stressful life event are expressed in two predominant phases: the intrusive state, characterized by unbidden ideas and feelings and even compulsive actions, and the denial state, characterized by emotional numbing and constriction of ideation. In this review of stress-response syndromes, the author outlines those phases, discusses the DSM-III diagnoses for stress-response disorders, and considers the mutual etiologic effects of stressful life events, psychiatric disorders, and preexisting conflicts or functional deficits. Guidelines for brief dynamic psychotherapy for patients who need more than transient support are presented.

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