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April 1981

Stress Response Syndromes: Recurrent Themes

Author Affiliations

From the Center for the Study of Neuroses, Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(4):428-435. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780290062007

• There is a consensus among clinicians treating patients who have experienced a trauma that a number of common themes emerge. Using a manual that codified ten of these themes, their frequency was measured in the case material of 30 psychotherapy patients treated for posttraumatic stress disorders after bereavement or personal injury. The themes found to be most prominent in bereavement cases included sadness over loss and discomfort over discovered personal vulnerability. In the personal-injury cases, fear of a repetition of the event and feelings of responsibility emerged most frequently. Rage at the source of the trauma figured prominently in both bereavement and personal-injury cases.

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