Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the General Population and in Children

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex psychopathologic condition that represents a significant challenge to the psychiatric profession. This distressing disorder has been found to affect both adults and children, although the pattern of symptoms in children can differ from that commonly seen in adults. This article presents an overview of the prevalence and incidence of PTSD and discusses factors that may be influential in the development of this disorder following exposure to traumatic events. In addition, the clinical presentation of PTSD in children is reviewed and treatment options for affected children are discussed.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 17):23-28