Results from the largest prospective study of its kind indicate that for individuals who experience trauma, the presence of dissociation — a profound feeling of detachment from one’s sense of self or surroundings — may indicate a high risk of later developing severe post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, physical pain, and social impairment. The research, which was led by investigators at McLean Hospital, is published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Study highlight the importance of understanding associations between PTSD and interpersonal functioning among firefighters. PTSD can affect people who personally experience the traumatic event, those who witness the event, or those who pick up the pieces afterwards, such as emergency workers and law enforcement officers.
Caring for family members with dementia — which is on the rise in the U.S. — causes significant emotional and physical stress that increases caregivers’ risk of depression, anxiety and death. A method presented in one study for coping with that stress by teaching people how to focus on positive emotions reduced their anxiety and depression after six weeks. It also resulted in better self-reported physical health and positive attitudes toward caregiving.