Nonpathological response to ongoing traumatic stress. Academic Article uri icon


  • For individuals faced with ongoing traumatic stress, a range of adverse reactions are possible. Carrying over models from acute trauma, developed for soldiers suffering months and years after returning from combat, and for victims of rape and other community violence, most psychological literature emphasizes psychopathological syndromes, especially posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The implicit assumption is that reactions that entail significant suffering must be explained by a diagnosable disorder. Ironically, this locates the mechanisms that explain ongoing suffering within the mind of the victim rather than in the stressful context in which s/he is forced to live. We present a description and venture theoretical consideration of an alternative phenomenon, which we refer to as ongoing traumatic stress response (OTSR). OTSR is not a diagnosis nor label, but an alternative …

publication date

  • January 1, 2013