Stress is a natural part of human development. Life-stressors can include milestones such as childbirth or the birth of a sibling, as well as negative life experiences, including the onset of a physical illness or the death of a loved one. With resilience and time, most people are able to adapt to these changes.
Acute or chronic stress, however, can be an indicator of mental illness and can have a lasting impact on one’s mind and body. Chronic stress caused by ongoing or episodic exposure to an adverse situation can wear down resilience and adaptive coping skills and may result in immediate or long-term neurobiological changes. Acute threats to one’s life or well-being may disrupt emotional and cognitive functioning.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed life-threatening events such as natural disasters, serious accidents, terrorist incidents, war, or violent personal assaults. People who suffer from PTSD often:
- relive the experience through unexpected and vivid flashbacks or nightmares
- feel detached or estranged, avoiding close relationships and situations that may trigger painful memories
- are irritable or explosive, as if constantly under threat
The inability to process grief, anger, or fear from the traumatic event may contribute to related disorders, such as depression, substance abuse, memory lapses, and other problems of physical and mental health.
Books on Trauma, Violence and PTSD
American Psychiatric Publishing (APPI), a division of the American Psychiatric Association, publishes textbooks and clinical manuals for psychiatrists who assess and treat individuals, families, and communities coping with trauma.
Clinical Manual for Management of PTSD is a practical guide to clinically relevant information on PTSD, with coverage of special topics such as PTSD in military settings, sexual assault, older and juvenile victims of trauma, and traumatic brain injury.
Preventing Bullying and School Violence is designed to help clinicians, school counselors, and administrators create a safe climate for their students and to respond thoughtfully, but swiftly, when threats arise.
Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness, Evaluation, and Treatment is the first clinical manual on the best practices for helping those affected by disaster, offering an explicit and practical discussion of the evidence base for recommendations for psychiatric evaluation and interventions for disaster survivors.
View a complete list of books related to trauma, violence, and posttraumatic stress disorder.