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Treatment of Traumatic Stress in Older Adults: Advances to Celebrate and a Request for More and Better

  • Joan M. Cook
    Correspondence
    Send correspondence and reprint requests to Joan M. Cook, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine & National Center for PTSD, 300 George St #901, New Haven, CT 06511
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry (JMC), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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Published:September 25, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2020.09.015
      While the majority of older adult trauma survivors do not develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a significant minority do, and some may have subthreshold PTSD
      • Pietrzak R
      • Goldstein R
      • Southwick S
      • et al.
      Psychiatric comorbidity of full and partial posttraumatic stress disorder among older adults in the United States: results from wave 2 of the national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions.
      or other trauma-related disorders, including depression and anxiety.
      • Raposo S
      • Mackenzie C
      • Henriksen C
      • et al.
      Time does not heal all wounds: older adults who experienced childhood adversities have higher odds of mood, anxiety, and personality disorders.
      Unless treated, older trauma survivors seem to experience a relatively stable course of PTSD across the lifespan, with some waxing and waning of symptoms. Older adults with PTSD are at risk of not receiving timely and appropriate mental health treatment, indicating targeted outreach could be helpful in increasing service use and improving care.

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      References

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