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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the complex relationship between stress and physical health, with a focus on comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and physical health conditions. There is a great deal of evidence that stress and mental health conditions, such as PTSD, often co-occur with physical health conditions. This chapter reviews this evidence, describes potential mechanisms underlying the comorbidity, and outlines theoretical frameworks for understanding the relationship between stress and physical health. It considers the ways in which stress leads to poor physical health, how physical health conditions can lead to stress, and how other factors may both increase stress and worsen physical health. Clinical implications of comorbid mental and physical health conditions and suggestions for future research in the area are also discussed.

Keywords: stress, physical health, mental health, comorbidity, posttraumatic stress disorder

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