Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder: Definition, Evidence, Diagnosis, Treatment

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Pathological reactions to adverse life events are frequent. However, it has become increasingly clear that current clinical descriptions and diagnostic classifications, which subsume all such reactions under terms such as PTSD or reactive and adjustment disorder, are inadequate. One widely seen type of pathological reaction can be classified as Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder (PTED). Like PTSD, this disorder is characterized not by a particular type of stressful events, but by a distinct psychological process (experiences of injustice and violation of basic beliefs) and by a highly specific psychopathological profile (embitterment and intrusions). While the incidence of PTSD rises in times of danger, such as war, PTED is seen more frequently in times of societal changes which force people to cope with reorganizations of their lives and prospects. The symptoms of PTED can be very severe, chronic, life-threatening (because of suicidal and/or homicidal fantasies), and hard to treat, and often result in disability in almost all areas of life. This book provides the first comprehensive description of PTED. The authors first summarize the theoretical background for PTED and reactive and adjustment disorders. They then describe the psychological processes involved in coping with insults, humiliation, and injustice. Data on the epidemiology of PTED in the general population and patient groups are reported. Diagnostic criteria, diagnostic interviews, and self-rating scales are presented. Finally, promising and innovative avenues for treating these patients are described, based on new concepts from wisdom psychology. A highly practical Appendix includes diagnostic checklists and tools for treatment planning with PTED patients, suitable for use by both researchers and clinicians. This ground-breaking book is of interest to researchers and clinicians working in the fi eld of posttraumatic and adjustment disorders, as well as to forensic psy

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