Traumatic Stress in Special Populations

Kim T. Mueser and Weili Lu

in The Oxford Handbook of Traumatic Stress Disorders

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399066
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Traumatic Stress in Special Populations

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Special populations are individuals who by virtue of psychiatric, behavioral, cognitive, or physical disabilities are more likely to be exposed to psychological trauma. Individuals with severe psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, developmental disabilities, and persons who are incarcerated are more likely to experience trauma throughout their lives, especially interpersonal victimization, and are more likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma and PTSD have a negative impact on special populations, often exacerbating psychiatric symptoms and substance abuse, and interfering with community functioning. Despite the high rates of trauma and PTSD in special populations, these problems are often not identified, and when they are, they are rarely treated. Recent progress has been made in adapting treatments developed for PTSD in the general population to special populations, including persons with severe mental illness and individuals with substance use disorders.

Keywords: severe mental illness; serious mental illness; schizophrenia; bipolar disorder; borderline personality disorder; substance abuse; addiction; prison; incarceration; developmental disabilities; intellectual disabilities

Article.  9818 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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