The aim of this study was to describe and evaluate the clinical pattern of 14 youths with presenting suicidality, to describe an integrative treatment approach, and to estimate therapy effectiveness. Fourteen patients aged 10 to 18 years from a child and adolescent outpatient clinic in Stockholm were followed in a case series. The patients were treated with active multimodal psychotherapy. This consisted of mood charting by mood-maps, psycho-education, wellbeing practice and trauma resolution. Active techniques were psychodrama and body-mind focused techniques including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. The patients were assessed before treatment, immediately after treatment and at 22 months post treatment with the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. The clinical pattern of the group was observed. After treatment there was a significant change towards normality in the Global Assessment of Functioning scale both immediately post-treatment and at 22 months. A clinical pattern, post trauma suicidal reaction, was observed with a combination of suicidality, insomnia, bodily symptoms and disturbed mood regulation. We conclude that in the post trauma reaction suicidality might be a presenting symptom in young people. Despite the shortcomings of a case series the results of this study suggest that a mood-map-based multimodal treatment approach with active techniques might be of value in the treatment of children and youth with suicidality.
Evidence of pain alterations in trauma-exposed individuals has been found. The presence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be explaining these alterations, as some of the psychological characteristics of PTSD are hypothesized to increase pain response.
To examine differences in pain response and in certain psychological variables between trauma-exposed women (TEW) with PTSD, TEW without PTSD, and non-trauma-exposed women (NTEW) and to explore the role of these psychological variables in the differences in pain response between the groups.
A total of 122 female students completed a cold pressor task (42 TEW with PTSD, 40 TEW without PTSD, and 40 NTEW). Anxiety sensitivity, experiential avoidance, trait and state dissociation, depressive symptoms, state anxiety, catastrophizing, and arousal were assessed.
TEW with PTSD reported significantly higher pain unpleasantness than NTEW, but not more than that of TEW without PTSD. They also presented higher trait dissociation, state anxiety, depressive symptoms, and skin conductance than the other 2 groups and higher anxiety sensitivity than TEW without PTSD. TEW without PTSD reported more pain unpleasantness than NTEW, but they recovered faster from pain. However, these differences were not explained by any psychological variable.
The results suggest that although trauma-exposed individuals are not more sensitive to painful stimulation, they evaluate pain in a more negative way. Exposure to trauma itself, but not to PTSD, may explain the differences found in pain unpleasantness.
BACKGROUND: An unknown number of asylum seekers arriving in Denmark have been exposed to torture or have experienced other traumatising events in their country of origin. The health of traumatised asylum seekers, both physically and mentally, is affected upon arrival to Denmark, and time in asylum centres leads to further deterioration in health. METHODS: One hundred forty-two (N=142) newly arrived asylum seekers were examined at Center Sandholm by Amnesty International Danish Medical Group from the 1st of September until the 31st of December 2007. FINDINGS: The asylum seekers came from 33 different countries, primarily representing Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Chechnya. Of the asylum seekers, 45 percent had been exposed to torture--approximately one-third within the year of arrival to Denmark. Unsystematic blows, personal threats or threats to family, degrading treatment, isolation, and witnessing torture of others were the main torture methods reported. The majority of the asylum seekers had witnessed armed conflict, persecution, and imprisonment. The study showed that physical symptoms were approximately twice as frequent and psychological symptoms were approximately two to three times as frequent among torture survivors as among non-tortured asylum seekers. However, even the health of non-tortured asylum seekers was affected. Among the torture survivors, 63 percent fulfilled the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, and 30-40 percent of the torture survivors were depressed, in anguish, anxious, and tearful in comparison to 5-10 percent of the non-tortured asylum seekers. Further, 42 percent of torture survivors had torture-related scars. INTERPRETATION: Torture survivors amid newly arrived asylum seekers are an extremely vulnerable group, hence examination and inquiry about the torture history is extremely important in order to identify this population to initiate the necessary medical treatment and social assistance. Amnesty International Danish Medical group is currently planning a follow-up study of the present population which will focus on changes in health status during their time in Denmark.
We investigated whether posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was predictor of suicidal behavior even when adjusting for comorbid borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other salient risk factors. To study this, we randomly selected 308 patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital because of suicide risk. Baseline interviews were performed within the first days of the stay. Information concerning the number of self-harm admissions to general hospitals over the subsequent 6 months was retrieved through linkage with the regional hospital registers. A censored regression analysis of hospital admissions for self-harm indicated significant associations with both PTSD (? = .21, p
Negative life events in childhood have an adverse influence on adult psychological health, and increase vulnerability to subsequent potential traumas. It remains unclear whether this is also true in the case of disasters.
This study investigates whether the experience of negative life events in childhood and adolescence was associated with psychological symptoms in groups of Swedish survivors with different types of exposure to the tsunami.
1505 survivors from Stockholm responded to a questionnaire on psychological distress, which was sent by post 14 months after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Psychological distress was measured by General Health Questionnaire-12 and suicidal ideation, and post-traumatic stress was measured by Impact of Event Scale-Revised. Life events prior to age 16 were collected and categorized under the indices accident, violence, loss and interpersonal events. Exposure to the tsunami was categorized in different types, and controlled for in the analyses.
With the adjustment for confounders, significant odds ratios were found for all indices on at least one outcome measure, despite the powerful effect of the tsunami. We could not discern any distinct difference in the distribution of the tendency to report the different outcomes depending on types of prior life events.
The implication of the study is that, for adult survivors of disaster, the reporting of adverse life events from childhood may influence future decisions regarding therapy.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after exposure to particularly traumatic events. Its severity depends on the nature and intensity of the stressor and the susceptibility of the exposed person. The aim of our study was to assess the relationship between PTSD resulting from deportation to Siberia in the patients' childhood and cognitive, emotional, and physical decline in advanced age.
Eighty patients with PTSD with a history of deportation to Siberia and 70 subjects without PTSD were diagnosed according to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision; severity of the symptoms included in the criteria was also assessed. In all patients, a standardized interview (including demographic data and comprehensive geriatric assessment tools such as the Mini-Mental State Examination, Geriatric Depression Scale, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living) was performed.
In analyses with the comparison group, patients with PTSD had a higher frequency of cognitive deficits (7.1% versus 22.5%), depression (31.4% versus 88.8%) and physical disability in activities of daily living (0% versus 21.3%), and instrumental activities of daily living (40.0% versus 88.8%). Moreover, increasing severity of PTSD was associated with significant deterioration in cognitive function, severity of depression, and the deterioration of basic and complex activities of daily living.
Higher frequency of cognitive function deficits, depression, and physical disability was found in the group of former deportees compared with the group of individuals without history of such a traumatic experience.
This study reports on the prevalence and correlates of perceived historical loss among 459 North American Indigenous adolescents aged 11-13 years from the northern Midwest of the United States and central Canada. The adolescents reported daily or more thoughts of historical loss at rates similar to their female caretakers. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that our measure of perceived historical loss and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale were separate but related constructs. Regression analysis indicated that, even when controlling for family factors, perceived discrimination, and proximal negative life events, perceived historical loss had independent effects on adolescents' depressive symptoms. The construct of historical loss is discussed in terms of Indigenous ethnic cleansing and life course theory.
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Posttraumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder are well-established risk factors for suicidal behavior. This study compared depressed suicide attempters with and without comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder with respect to additional diagnoses, global functioning, depressive symptoms, substance abuse, history of traumatic exposure, and suicidal behavior. Adult patients consecutively admitted to a general hospital after a suicide attempt were interviewed and assessed for DSM-IV diagnosis and clinical correlates. Sixty-four patients (71%) were diagnosed with depression; of them, 21 patients (32%) had posttraumatic stress disorder. There were no group differences in social adjustment, depressive symptoms, or suicidal intent. However, the group with comorbid depression and posttraumatic stress disorder had more additional Axis I diagnoses, a higher degree of childhood trauma exposure, and more often reported previous suicide attempts, non-suicidal self-harm, and vengeful suicidal motives. These findings underline the clinical importance of diagnosis and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in suicide attempters.
Anecdotal reports suggest that child survivors of the Nazi persecution are functioning well as adults. Ratings of their parents by a randomly selected community sample of young adult Ashkenazi Jews on a scale that measured Schizoid, Paranoid, Depressive/Masochistic and Type A/Normal Aggressive symptoms permitted verification of these reports. Among the parents were groups who were children, adolescents, or young adults in 1945, at the end of World War II. Child-survivor parents did not differ from native-born parents on these measures 40 years later, whereas, consistent with the empirical findings of others, survivors who were adolescents or young adults at the end of the war manifested more paranoid and depressive/masochistic symptoms than native-born parents. To explain this possible greater long-term resilience among those who were child survivors, reference is made to later caretakers, endowment, cognitive and social development, and psychodynamics.
This study analyzes the impact of the media on adolescents traumatized in a school shooting. Participants were trauma-exposed students (n = 231) and comparison students (n = 526), aged 13-19 years. A questionnaire that included the Impact of Event Scale and a 36-item General Health Questionnaire was administered 4 months after the shooting. Being interviewed was associated with higher scores on the Impact of Event Scale (p = .005), but posttraumatic symptoms did not differ between those who refused to be interviewed and those not approached by reporters. Following a higher number of media outlets did not affect symptoms.