Trauma model of mental disorders  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Trauma models of mental disorder (alternatively called trauma models of psychopathology) emphasise the effects of psychological trauma, particularly in early development, as the key causal factor in the development of some or many psychiatric disorders (in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder). Trauma models are typically founded on the view that traumatic experiences (including but not limited to actual physical or sexual abuse) are more common or more serious than thought in the histories of those diagnosed with mental disorders. Such models have traditionally been associated with psychoanalytic approaches, notably Sigmund Freud's early ideas on childhood sexual abuse and hysteria. John Bowlby, who developed Attachment theory, also describes many forms of mental illness as based on early childhood trauma. In addition there is significant research supporting the linkage between early experiences of chronic maltreatment and later problems.

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