Disorders of Extreme Stress

Clinical Psychology


  1. Etzel Cardeña PhD1,
  2. Lisa D. Butler PhD2,
  3. Sophie Reijman BSc3,
  4. David Spiegel MD4

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop208008

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Cardeña, E., Butler, L. D., Reijman, S. and Spiegel, D. 2012. Disorders of Extreme Stress. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 8:I:8.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Lund University, Department of Psychology, Lund, Sweden

  2. 2

    State University of New York, School of Social Work, Buffalo, NY, USA

  3. 3

    Leiden University, Child and Family Studies, Leiden, The Netherlands

  4. 4

    Stanford University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


In this chapter we review the concepts of stress and trauma and describe conditions within the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders–Fourth Edition (DSM-IV; APA, 1994, 2000) that include trauma as an etiological criterion (i.e., acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD), as well as disorders strongly associated with extreme stress and trauma—namely, the dissociative and conversion disorders. We also discuss how proposed changes for the DSM-5 may impact current diagnostic criteria. Although they are not covered in this chapter, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, adjustment, and other disorders can also occur as responses to traumatic stress.


  • stress;
  • trauma;
  • PTSD;
  • ASD;
  • dissociative disorders;
  • conversion disorder