Danger, trauma, fear and anxiety are embedded in the human condition. There is a wide spectrum of appraisal, response and adaptation to danger within the lifecycle of the individual. A developmental psychopathology approach recognizes the intricate matrix of intrinsic factors, developmental maturation, experience and life events that contribute to proximal and distal outcomes. Traumatic experiences are common in the lives of children and adolescents. Approximately 15% to 20% of juveniles will encounter some form of relatively severe trauma . Trauma exerts approximately twofold increased risk for various forms of psychopathology, including anxiety , major depression  and behavior problems . These disorders span the full range of human existence from childhood to old age, although symptoms may vary considerably owing to developmental differences and related factors . Reaction to stress. One of the key factors of trauma-related states is “stress.” Stress may be defined as a real or interpreted threat to the physiological or psychological integrity of an individual that results in physiological and/or behavioral responses . The basic neuroendocrine core of acute stress response, also known as the fight-or-flight response, does not seem to vary substantially between species and/or gender. Humans, monkeys and rodents experience a cascade of hormonal responses to threat that appears to begin with the rapid release of oxytocin, vasopressin, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and possibly other hormones produced in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Direct neural activation of the adrenal medulla triggers release of the catecholamines norepinephrine and epinephrine, and concomitant sympathetic responses.
|Title of host publication||The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease|
|Subtitle of host publication||The Hidden Epidemic|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2010|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2010.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (all)