Trauma-related dissociation and altered states of consciousness: a call for clinical, treatment, and neuroscience research

The primary aim of this commentary is to describe trauma-related dissociation and altered states of consciousness in the context of a four-dimensional model that has recently been proposed (Frewen & Lanius, 2015). This model categorizes symptoms of trauma-related psychopathology into (1) those that occur within normal waking consciousness and (2) those that are dissociative and are associated with trauma-related altered states of consciousness (TRASC) along four dimensions: (1) time; (2) thought; (3) body; and (4) emotion.

Untested assumptions: psychological research and credibility assessment in legal decision-making

Background: Trauma survivors often have to negotiate legal systems such as refugee status determination or the criminal justice system. Methods & results: We outline and discuss the contribution which research on trauma and related psychological processes can make to two particular areas of law where complex and difficult legal decisions must be made: in claims for refugee and humanitarian protection, and in reporting and prosecuting sexual assault in the criminal justice system.

A plea for symptom-based research in psychiatry

Background: The significant proportion of patients suffering from subthreshold diagnoses such as partial posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) shows that today’s diagnostic entities do not fully meet the reality and needs of clinical practice. Moreover, as stated also in the recently announced concept of research domain criteria (RDoC), the use of today’s traditional diagnostic systems in psychiatric research does not sufficiently promote an integrative understanding of mental disorders across multiple units of analysis from behavior to neurobiology.

Re-experiencing traumatic events in PTSD: new avenues in research on intrusive memories and flashbacks

Posttraumatic flashbacks, consisting of the intrusive re-experiencing of traumatic experiences in the present, have been more clearly defined for the first time in DSM-5 and have been identified as a unique symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder in the proposed ICD-11 diagnostic criteria. Relatively little research into flashbacks has been conducted, however, and new research efforts are required to understand the cognitive and biological basis of this important symptom.

Trauma and PTSD: setting the research agenda

Up to 80% of people encounter severe adverse events in their lives (De Vries & Olff, 2009). Most people will be resilient or quickly recover from negative symptoms, but a significant proportion will develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) leading to a lifetime prevalence of PTSD in about 7% (De Vries & Olff, 2009; Kessler et al., 2005). These events precipitate not only PTSD but also major depression, anxiety disorders, addiction, physical health problems, and other trauma-related disorders.

Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Associated with Premature Senescence

Objective Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has major public health significance. Evidence that PTSD may be associated with premature senescence (early or accelerated aging) would have major implications for quality of life and healthcare policy. We conducted a comprehensive review of published empirical studies relevant to early aging in PTSD.

Pharmacotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: systematic review and meta-analysis

Pharmacological treatment is widely used for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) despite questions over its efficacy.
To determine the efficacy of all types of pharmacotherapy, as monotherapy, in reducing symptoms of PTSD, and to assess acceptability.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials was undertaken; 51 studies were included.

Latent profile analysis and principal axis factoring of the DSM-5 dissociative subtype

Objective: A dissociative subtype has been recognized based on the presence of experiences of depersonalization and derealization in relation to DSM-IV posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the dissociative subtype has not been assessed in a community sample in relation to the revised DSM-5 PTSD criteria. Moreover, the 20-item PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) currently does not assess depersonalization and derealization.

Early intervention for preventing posttraumatic stress disorder: an Internet-based virtual reality treatment

Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in approximately 20% of people exposed to a traumatic event, and studies have shown that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective as a treatment for chronic PTSD. It has also been shown to prevent PTSD when delivered early after a traumatic event. However, studies have shown that uptake of early treatment is generally low, and therefore, the need to provide interventions through other mediums has been identified. The use of technology may overcome barriers to treatment.

Cumulative Trauma, Hyperarousal, and Suicidality in the General Population: A Path Analysis

Although trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) both have been linked to suicidal thoughts and behavior, the underlying basis for this relationship is not clear. In a sample of 357 trauma-exposed individuals from the general population, younger participant age, cumulative trauma exposure, and all three Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, PTSD clusters (reexperiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal) were correlated with clinical levels of suicidality.