Alienation after trauma has bad effect on mental health, study shows


New Delhi: The presence of detachment, a deep sense of detachment from oneself or surroundings, may indicate a higher risk of developing severe post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, physical pain, depression, and social impairment in people who have experienced trauma. , according to findings from the largest prospective study of its kind.

The study, which was carried out under the direction of researchers from McLean Hospital, and the findings of the research were published in the journal ‘American Journal of Psychiatry’. “Dissociation can help someone cope after trauma by providing some psychological distance from the experience, but at a high cost – dissociation is often associated with more severe psychiatric symptoms,” said lead author Lauren A.M. Lebois, PhD, director he said. Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program at McLean Hospital and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“Despite this, dissociative symptoms are under-studied and under-diagnosed due to a lack of understanding in medical and clinical practice.”

To provide insight, Lebois and his colleagues examined information from the Advance Understanding of Recovery after Trauma (Aurora) study. The data pertained to 1,464 adults treated in 22 different emergency departments across the United States who reported whether they had experienced a severe type of dissociation called derangement. Also, 145 patients underwent brain imaging during the emotional task. Three months later, the researchers collected follow-up reports of post-traumatic stress, depression, pain, anxiety symptoms, and functional impairment.
The research team found that patients who reported experiencing derealization had higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression, pain and functional impairment at 3-month follow-up. Furthermore, both self-reported survey results and brain imaging results, which were indicative of derangement, predicted poorer post-traumatic stress symptoms at follow-up examination – even at the beginning of the study and history. Even after accounting for post-traumatic stress symptoms in from childhood trauma.
The results indicate the importance of screening patients for dissociation-related symptoms after trauma to identify at-risk individuals who may benefit from early intervention.

The scientists found that the derivation was linked to altered activity in certain brain regions detected through brain imaging.

“Therefore, persistent derangement is an early psychological marker and a later biological marker of worse psychiatric outcomes, and its neural correlates in the brain may serve as potential future targets of treatment to prevent PTSD,” said senior author. Kerry J. Wrestler, MD said. , PhD, chief scientific officer at McLean Hospital and professor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The investigators hope that their findings will increase awareness of these symptoms and their potential side effects.

“With any luck, this will enable more clinicians to connect empathetically and communicate thoughtfully with patients to help them understand their symptoms and available treatments,” Lebois said. “Unfortunately, detachment from conversation increases patients’ susceptibility to more serious mental problems after trauma.”
The research is an example of how patient care can be impacted by the analysis of data from the Aurora Study – a major national initiative headquartered at the University of North Carolina that seeks to inform the development and testing of preventive and treatment interventions for individuals who have Those who have experienced traumatic events.

“These latest findings add to a growing list of discoveries from Aurora to help us understand how to better prevent and treat adverse mental health outcomes after trauma,” said lead investigator and professor, conducting the Aurora study. Samuel McLean said. Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, and Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

“Studies like Aurora are important because there is a tremendous global burden of suffering due to adverse post-traumatic mental health outcomes, and yet historically there have been very few large-scale longitudinal studies evaluating neurobiology based on these conditions.” are,” he said.


First published:22 June 2022, 6:05 pm

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