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Intrusive memories of trauma in PTSD and addiction

  • Martina Reynolds (a1), Sheena Nayak (a1) and Christos Kouimtsidis (a2)
Abstract
Aims and method

To study intrusive phenomena relating to traumatic experiences in a community sample seeking treatment for substance use disorder and an in-patient sample from an addiction in-patient detoxification service in London. Perceived effect of drugs and drug use on traumatic intrusion and memory experiences was also analysed. The study was conducted using a semi-structured patient interview comprising a series of questionnaires.

Results

The most frequently identified traumatic memories were those of traumatic bereavements. Substance use appears to have had the effect of dampening the memories for those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and significantly more individuals reported that their memories were less vivid and less distressing before they ceased substance use.

Clinical implications

The findings suggest that continued substance use could in part be motivated by its capacity to dampen distressing memories within the PTSD group. This should be addressed within a treatment plan of comorbid PTSD.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Christos Kouimtsidis (drckouimtsidis@hotmail.com)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Intrusive memories of trauma in PTSD and addiction

  • Martina Reynolds (a1), Sheena Nayak (a1) and Christos Kouimtsidis (a2)
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