COVID-19 Pandemic and Criterion A
COVID-19 is a source of great stress and anxiety for individuals and communities around the world. How do we distinguish between stress and traumatic stress during the pandemic and beyond? This ISTSS Friday Fast Facts series will explore how conceptualizations of trauma during the pandemic relate to our definition of Criterion A trauma in the DSM-5. Look for new materials on COVID-19 and Criterion A every Friday in July 2021.
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Infographic: ISTSS COVID-19 Tools and Resources
Developed by Lia J. Smith
What Constitutes A Trauma?
A Panel on Traumatic Stressors vs. Stress
The events of the past year have raised the question of how to distinguish stress from traumatic stress, especially with regard to the definition of Criterion A trauma in the DSM-5. This panel addresses this question in the context of two critically important events: (1) the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) the murder of George Floyd, which sharpened our focus on the stress and trauma experienced by Black people.
Brian P. Marx, PhD
Deputy Director, Behavioral Science Division, National Center for PTSD
VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine
Paul Holtzheimer, MD
Deputy Director for Research, National Center for PTSD, Department of Veterans Affairs
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Paula P. Schnurr, PhD
Executive Director, National Center for PTSD, Department of Veterans Affairs
Professor of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Brittany Hall-Clark, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
National Center for PTSD, Consultation Program
Matthew J. Friedman, MD, PhD
Senior Advisor, National Center for PTSD, and Executive Director, National PTSD Brain Bank, Department of Veterans Affairs
Professor of Psychiatry, Geisel school of Medicine at Dartmouth
COVID-19: Traumatic Stressor or Stress?
View This Fact Sheet
Global events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, impact people in different ways. This fact sheet, developed by Lia J. Smith and Melissa J. Zielinski, reviews how to distinguish between stressful and traumatic events, identify factors that may influence our experience of these events, and understand the unique impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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