COVID-19, attentional bias, and trait anxiety

Click here for the article published by Frontiers in Psychiatry. Anxious individuals selectively attend to threatening information, but it remains unclear whether attentional bias can be generalized to traumatic events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies suggested that specific threats related to personal experiences can elicit more substantial attentional bias than general threats. The …

COVID-19, attentional bias, and trait anxiety Read More »

Understanding PTSD Symptoms Over Time: Longitudinal Network Analysis

Network modeling has been applied in a range of trauma-exposed samples, yet results are limited by an over reliance on cross-sectional data. The current analyses used posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom data collected over a 5-year period to estimate a more robust between-subject network and an associated symptom change network.

A PTSD symptom network is measured in a sample of military veterans across four time points (Ns = 1254, 1231, 1106, 925). The repeated measures permit isolating between-subject associations by limiting the effects of within-subject variability. The result is a highly reliable PTSD symptom network. A symptom slope network depicting covariation of symptom change over time is also estimated.

Negative trauma-related emotions had particularly strong associations with the network. Trauma-related amnesia, sleep disturbance, and self-destructive behavior had weaker overall associations with other PTSD symptoms.

PTSD’s network structure appears stable over time. There is no single ‘most important’ node or node cluster. The relevance of self-destructive behavior, sleep disturbance, and trauma-related amnesia to the PTSD construct may deserve additional consideration.

Sleep spindles are more than just a strange phenomenon that happens during sleep. They play an essential role in soothing PTSD anxiety and enhancing memory retention.

Brief bursts of brain activity during sleep known as sleep spindles could potentially help regulate anxiety in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers believe that the study’s findings may be useful for people with anxiety disorders and are looking at non-invasive ways to harness the benefits of this sleep stage to relieve symptoms. The study also suggests that sleep hygiene, electrical brain stimulation, or prescription sleep medications could promote the sleep spindles associated with non-rapid eye movement 2 (NREM2) sleep and potentially benefit patients with stress and anxiety disorders.

Posttrauma Anxiety and Depression Explained by Previous Trauma – Racial and Ethnic Differences Identified

Racial and ethnic groups in the USA differ in the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent research however has not observed consistent racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic stress in the early aftermath of trauma, suggesting that such differences in chronic PTSD rates may be related to differences in recovery over time.

As part of the multisite, longitudinal AURORA study, we investigated racial/ethnic differences in PTSD and related outcomes within 3 months after trauma. Participants (n = 930) were recruited from emergency departments across the USA and provided periodic (2 weeks, 8 weeks, and 3 months after trauma) self-report assessments of PTSD, depression, dissociation, anxiety, and resilience. Linear models were completed to investigate racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic dysfunction with subsequent follow-up models assessing potential effects of prior life stressors.

Racial/ethnic groups did not differ in symptoms over time; however, Black participants showed reduced posttraumatic depression and anxiety symptoms overall compared to Hispanic participants and White participants. Racial/ethnic differences were not attenuated after accounting for differences in sociodemographic factors. However, racial/ethnic differences in depression and anxiety were no longer significant after accounting for greater prior trauma exposure and childhood emotional abuse in White participants.

The present findings suggest prior differences in previous trauma exposure partially mediate the observed racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic depression and anxiety symptoms following a recent trauma. Our findings further demonstrate that racial/ethnic groups show similar rates of symptom recovery over time. Future work utilizing longer time-scale data is needed to elucidate potential racial/ethnic differences in long-term symptom trajectories.

The integration of yoga breathing techniques in cognitive behavioral therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial

Click here for the article published by Frontiers in Psychiatry. In trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), stabilization techniques are used before confrontation ones to increase stress/affect tolerance and thus effectiveness of CBT. This study investigated the effects of pranayama, meditative yoga breathing and breath holding techniques, as a complimentary stabilization technique in patients with post-traumatic …

The integration of yoga breathing techniques in cognitive behavioral therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial Read More »

Post-traumatic stress disorder and associated factors among adult war survivors in Northwest Ethiopia: Community-based, cross-sectional study

Click here for the article published by Frontiers in Psychiatry. A person may endure or witness a traumatic incident, such as being exposed to war, and, as a result, develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). … This study aimed to assess the prevalence of PTSD and associated factors among war survivors in Nefas Meewcha Town, South …

Post-traumatic stress disorder and associated factors among adult war survivors in Northwest Ethiopia: Community-based, cross-sectional study Read More »

Basic Tenets of Separation Theory

Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Ahead of Print. This article outlines the basic tenets of separation theory, including the fantasy bond and the voice process. The fantasy bond is a unifying concept explaining how human beings seek security in fantasies of fusion in an attempt to heal the fracture related to interpersonal trauma compounded by death anxiety. Painful elements in parent–child interactions are incorporated in the form of a negative thought process or “voice,” creating a division in the personality between the self and the anti-self. My colleagues and I developed a methodology called “voice therapy” to expose and contend with people’s destructive attitudes and attacks on themselves. The article also describes the evolution of a group of more than 100 associates and friends who have lived in close proximity and shared their innermost feelings in an ongoing group experience for more than 40 years. These people contributed significantly to the evolution of separation theory. Together, we developed an implicit set of values based on understanding factors that hurt people in their psychological development. The article specifies the concepts learned from observing the reference population and delineates findings from research in the neurosciences, attachment theory, and terror management theory that validate the key concepts of separation theory.

Associations Between Existential Concerns and Adverse Experiences: A Systematic Review

Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Ahead of Print. Exposure to traumatic events or adverse experiences and its consequences have been studied mainly from a posttraumatic stress disorder perspective. Existential psychotherapy focuses on universal human concerns and the anxiety that occurs when a person confronts the conflicts inherent in life and toward death, which include the experience of difficult situations. A systematic review was performed including 56 papers that studied the relations between adverse experiences and existential concerns. The articles were assessed and described in relation to existential domains, type of adverse experience, posttraumatic responses, and existential psychological interventions. Existential concerns appeared in different degrees and categories in studied samples. Outcomes suggest that from an existential psychotherapy perspective, reactions to traumatic events can be both negative and positive for a person. In addition, the pass of time turned out to be an important factor, especially in finding meaning from traumatic experiences, the reduction of negative symptoms, and the achieving of posttraumatic growth. Existential-related interventions described in this review showed positive outcomes, suggesting that it is an effective trauma treatment approach.

The More Traumatic the Childhood, the Angrier the Adult

Click here for the article published by Neurocience News. Children who experience adversity and trauma have a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety as adults. In turn, trauma-based anxiety and depression can increase anger. The worse the trauma children experience, the angrier they become as adults. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this …

The More Traumatic the Childhood, the Angrier the Adult Read More »

error: Alert: Content is protected !!