What is a traumatic event?

ArticleinThe British Journal of Psychiatry 187:189-90; author reply 190 · September 2005with139 Reads
Source: PubMed

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  • ... For example, people could still make arguments that sexual harassment (e.g., Avina & O'Donohue, 2002), complicated childbirth (e.g., Olde, van der Hart, Kleber & van Son, 2006), chronic illness (e.g., Eglinton & Chung, 2011), and the loss of one's farm animals (e.g., Olff, Koeter, van Haaften, Kersten & Gersons, 2005) may satisfy the criterion. Including such lower magnitude events may be diluting the diagnosis from one related specifically to the experience of a traumatic event (Elhai, Kashdan & Frueh, 2005; McNally, 2003 McNally, , 2009), complicating the distinction between PTSD and other disorders in which life stressors often mark the onset of symptoms (e.g., adjustment disorder, depression, social anxiety). The symptoms seen in PTSD also commonly occur in those adjusting to various life stressors (e.g., Gold, Marx, Baillo & Sloan, 2005). ...
  • ... Given the controversy concerning the broadness of the construct of trauma (Boals & Schuettler, 2009;Elhai, Kashdan, & Frueh, 2005;Gold, Marx, Soler-Baillo & Sloan, 2005;Long et al., 2008;North, Suris, Davis & Smith, 2009;Olff, Koeter, Van Haaften, Kersten, & Gersons, 2005), the small number of articles about non-A1 events found in our sample was surprising. Even though our search strategy may have left out some studies about non-A1 events not directly related to PTSD, we believe that our sample is representative of the studies of such events leading to PTSD symptoms. ...
  • ... For example, some have argued that such stressful events as sexual harassment (Avina and O'Donohue 2002), childbirth (Olde et al. 2006), and losing one's farm animals (Olff et al. 2005) would satisfy PTSD's criterion A1. Yet others have argued that including such stressful events (but not " traumatic " in the true sense) dilutes the PTSD diagnosis and redirects treatment resources away from genuinely suffering PTSD patients to individuals who are merely in mild distress from everyday hassles (Elhai et al. 2005b; McNally 2003). PTSD's criterion A2 has been criticized, as well. ...
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