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Medicine And The Media

Traumatised children

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 30 September 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:883
  1. Harry Zeitlin
  1. professor of child and adolescent psychiatry, University College London

    Post-traumatic stress disorder is in danger of becoming the catch-all basket for emotional and behavioural problems. However, to be involved with or witness severe violence is one of the more clearly traumatising experiences. When it happens to a child and when perpetrator and victim are the child's parents it is even more hazardous. The child is, at a stroke, damaged by the event and in the same instant deprived of the protective family environment that could help cope and readjust. More often than not the distress in a surviving parent is transmitted and adds to the stress on …

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