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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: the History of a Recent Concept

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Berthold P. R. Gersons*
Affiliation:
Academic Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Tafelbergweg 25, 1105 BC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ingrid V. E. Carlier
Affiliation:
Academic Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Tafelbergweg 25, 1105 BC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Correspondence

Abstract

This review describes the history of PTSD in relation to military psychiatry, physiology, and crisis theory. It appears that the consequences of psychic trauma are often underestimated and mental health services often fail to provide adequate care. PTSD may be explained as an initially adequate reaction to danger, which becomes pathological if it does not disappear after the danger is gone. The authors argue in favour of better psychiatric intervention after traumatic events and better care for trauma victims.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © 1992 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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