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Developmental Disorders as Pathological Resilience Domains

Rodrick Wallace

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Abstract

Ecosystem resilience theory permits novel exploration of developmental psychiatric and chronic physical disorders. Structured psychosocial stress, and similar noxious exposures, can write distorted images of themselves onto child growth, and, if sufficiently powerful, adult development as well, initiating a punctuated life course trajectory to characteristic forms of comorbid mind/body dysfunction. For an individual, within the linked network of broadly cognitive psysiological and mental subsystems, this occurs in a manner almost exactly similar to resilience domain shifts affecting a stressed ecosystem, suggesting that reversal or palliation may often be exceedingly difficult. Thus resilience theory may contribute significant new perspectives to the understanding, remediation, and prevention, of these debilitating conditions.

Key words

chronic disease, cognition, comorbidity, developmental disorder, ecosystem, resilience
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087