WHAT IS DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA DISORDER

 

     Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) has gained much research interest as a separate disorder from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with the primary differentiation of DTD resulting from long-term emotional neglect, emotional abuse, family violence, and/or community-based violence.  If you were exposed to multiple, sustained, and untreated adverse or traumatic events, you may meet the criteria for this recently-proposed diagnosis.  Adults with DID have often been misdiagnosed with ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or Borderline Personality Disorder.  The diagnosis of DTD has been specifically applied to individuals who endured years of emotional distress and who may exhibit the following symptoms: self-destructive behaviors, extreme distrust within all relationships, a pattern of emotionally abusive adult romantic relationships, verbal aggression, physical aggression, anxiety, depression, attention focus difficulties, and a very unstable sense of self.  The diagnosis of DTD helps mental health clinicians to treat adults who have endured childhood trauma and who experience more deeply engrained disruptions in their personality development which has not typically been addressed with the more common PTSD diagnosis. 

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