Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 July 2021
Trauma derives from the Greek τραῦμα, meaning “wound.” Although it has been used for centuries as a medical term to designate “an injury to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agent,” it was not until 1889 that this word endorsed a psychological meaning with the first clinical descriptions of “traumatic neuroses” in victims of railroad accidents by Oppenheim. Stress was first a mechanics term used to describe the pressure or tension exerted on a material object. It was then been applied to mental health to describe a feeling of psychological strain and pressure. Both psychological trauma and stress can result in psychiatric disorders.