TOPIC: Anticipatory stress chronically activates the stress response in children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Effects of the allostatic load may begin even before birth in a stressful environment.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the anticipatory stress response in children with PTSD. The paper discusses the etiology, the impact of the disorder on long-term health, cognitive and behavioral manifestations, and clinical management and treatment options.
SOURCES USED: A review on current literature is presented and includes several key studies.
CONCLUSIONS: Anticipatory stress in PTSD has acute and long-term health implications for the child. The psychiatric nurse plays a key role in preventing the long-term effects of PTSD.