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By Chris Cantor

Posttraumatic tension disease continues to be probably the most contentious and poorly understood psychiatric issues. Evolution and Posttraumatic rigidity offers a helpful new point of view on its nature and causes.

This booklet is the 1st to envision PTSD from an evolutionary viewpoint. starting with a assessment of traditional theories, Chris Cantor presents a transparent and succinct evaluation of the heritage, medical beneficial properties and epidemiology of PTSD earlier than occurring to introduce and combine evolutionary conception. matters mentioned include:

The evolution of human protective behaviours

A medical standpoint of PTSD

Defence in overdrive: evolution, PTSD and parsimony


This unique presentation of PTSD as a protecting technique describes how using evolutionary idea offers a extra coherent and winning version for prognosis, drastically bettering figuring out of often mystifying indicators. will probably be of serious curiosity to psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychologists, and anthropologists.

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Extra resources for Evolution and Posttraumatic Stress: Disorders of Vigilance and Defence

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G. flashbacks and intrusive recollections, most PTSD symptoms can be observed in animals, including distress on re-exposure to trauma stimuli, central to re-experiencing, the most subjective of the three symptom clusters. Many of the avoidance behaviours are flight or numbness orientated and so lend themselves well to direct or physiological observations. Overarousal symptoms other than memory problems are also readily observable in animals. However, phobias differ from PTSD by not having irritability as a core symptom.

Delayed PTSD Patients not uncommonly present for treatment for the first time many years after their traumatic experiences. This phenomenon of delayed PTSD adds further complexity and controversy. The DSMIV defines this as involving a delay of six months or more between the relevant trauma and the onset of the syndrome (APA 1994). 2 per cent of PTSD cases (Bryant and Harvey 2002). In clinical practice delayed PTSD is more common, with veterans from the Vietnam War often presenting for the first time to this day.

However, preparedness still may require learning. Laboratory-reared monkeys were not initially afraid of snakes but rapidly became so after observing wild-reared monkeys, which were afraid of snakes. ’ First, they checked that observers would acquire fear when viewing models responding fearfully to fear-relevant stimuli via viewing video footage – they did. g. snakes). There was little response to observed fear reactions paired with irrelevant stimuli such as flowers. Further, laboratory-reared viewer monkeys had no prior experience with snakes or flowers; hence the acquired fears must be phylogenetic rather than ontogenetic in origin.

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