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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Special populations are individuals who by virtue of psychiatric, behavioral, cognitive, or physical disabilities are more likely to be exposed to psychological trauma. Individuals with severe psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, or developmental disabilities and persons who are incarcerated are more likely to experience trauma throughout their lives, especially interpersonal victimization, and are more likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma and PTSD have a negative impact on special populations, often exacerbating symptoms and substance use problems and interfering with community functioning. Despite the high rates of trauma and PTSD in special populations, these problems are often not identified, and when they are, they are rarely treated. Recent progress has been made in adapting treatments developed for PTSD in the general population to special populations, including persons with severe mental illness and individuals with substance use disorders.

Keywords: trauma, PTSD, special population, serious mental illness, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, substance use disorder, prison, developmental disabilities

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