Friday, 2 December 2011

Chronic PTSD In Females Linked To History Of Child Abuse, Rape

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Main Category: Anxiety / Stress
Also Included In: Women's Health / Gynecology
Article Date: 01 Dec 2011 - 9:00 PST

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Researchers have identified factors that could cause chronic, persistent symptoms in some women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) whilst others recover naturally over time. Assistant Professor Jesse R. Cougle, a clinical psychologist from the Florida State University, concluded after a two-year nationwide study of women that those with PTSD who reported being raped or had a severe childhood physical abuse were more likely to suffer chronic PTSD symptoms.

He also discovered that those who reported to "re-live" their experiences as nightmare and flashback symptoms at the initial assessment had a higher tendency to suffer from persistent PTSD symptoms two years after the start of the study.

Apart from re-living symptoms, a PTSD diagnosis also includes several other factors, including evaluating whether the individual tries to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations linked to the trauma, or appears numb to them, whether they try to avoid activities, places or people that instigate memories of their trauma, or an inability to recall important aspects of the trauma they suffered.

Other symptoms include hyper arousal so that the sufferer experiences difficulty in falling or staying asleep, difficulty in concentrating, hyper vigilance and irritability.

Professor Cougle together with Medical University of South Carolina psychiatry professors Heidi Resnick and Dean G. Kilpatrick's conducted a study published online in the journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy.

Cougle commented: ??

"What makes our findings unique is the recovery component. Most studies of this kind have looked at risk and resiliency or the factors that determine who develops PTSD and who doesn't. We studied factors that influence recovery, or lack thereof, in a sample with PTSD. What we found, interestingly, is that more than half of the women in our sample - 58 percent - recovered within two years."


?? Most people will experience at least one potentially traumatic event during their lifetime that could lead to PTSD. If the factors that predict chronic PTSD are known, those in need of assistance and treatment can be identified after a traumatic event.

Cougle also observed during his study that approximately half of the women recovered from a PTSD without the aid of any professional.

Cougle said:

"Some women have a natural capacity to recover from PTSD. They won't require treatment to get better."??


Written by Petra Rattue
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Additional References Citations Visit our anxiety / stress section for the latest news on this subject. “Factors Associated with Chronicity in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Prospective Analysis of a National Sample of Women”
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