traumatic experiences
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2022 ◽  
Shannon Bennetts

Restrictions, social isolation, and uncertainty related to the global COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted the ways that parents and children maintain family routines, health, and wellbeing. Companion animals (pets) can be a critical source of comfort during traumatic experiences, although changes to family routines, such as those caused by COVID-19, can also bring about challenges like managing undesirable pet behaviours or pet-human interactions. We aimed to examine the relationship between pet attachment and mental health for both parents and their children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. A total of 1,034 parents living with a child under 18 years and a cat or dog completed an online cross-sectional survey. Path analysis using multivariate linear regression was conducted to examine associations between objective COVID-19 impacts, subjective worry about COVID-19, human-pet attachment, and mental health. After adjusting for core demographic factors, stronger pet-child attachment was associated with greater child anxiety (parent-reported, p<.001). Parent-pet attachment was not associated with self-reported psychological distress (p=.42), however, parents who reported a strong emotional closeness with their pet reported greater psychological distress (p=.002). Findings highlight the role of pets during times of change and uncertainty. It is possible that families are turning to animals as a source of comfort, during a time when traditional social supports are less accessible. Alternatively, strong pet attachment is likely to reflect high levels of empathy, which might increase vulnerability to psychological distress. Longitudinal evidence is required to delineate the mechanisms underpinning pet attachment and mental health.

2022 ◽  
Seçil Bülbül ◽  
Serin Işiaçik ◽  

Ontological well-being adopts a holistic perspective on well-being similar to the narrative psychology when analyzing life histories by referring to past, present, and future aspects of one's life. Relatedly, the self-memory view proposes that life events are self-evaluated. Based on the narrative psychology and self-memory approach, affective life events and emotions are processed in the memory and play a role in structuring self-perceptions and psychological well-being. Therefore, turbulent external conditions such as the pandemic, uncertain environments and socio-economic challenges may lead to traumatic experiences for individuals. Being exposed to traumatic events and experiencing post-traumatic stress harms mental health, well-being, and work performance. This study aims to examine the relationship between traumatic life experiences and ontological well-being within the period of COVID 19 pandemic. It is intended to reveal the impact of traumatic experiences on ontological well-being of individuals in work life. A cross-sectional study was utilized throughout an online survey with the participation of 270 employees working in various private organizations. Following the statistical analyses, the findings were evaluated and both conceptual and practical discussions were provided.

2022 ◽  
Tobias Kube ◽  
Irving Kirsch ◽  
Julia Glombiewski ◽  
Philipp Herzog

After traumatic experiences, intrusive memories can flash back and evoke significant distress. Here, we investigated whether the occurrence of intrusions can be prevented by placebo. After the exposure to an experimental psychopathology model of psychological trauma, healthy participants (N=112) were randomised to deceptive placebo (DP), open-label placebo (OLP), or a no-treatment control group. The results show that one week later, the groups did not differ in the frequency of intrusive memories. However, participants receiving OLP reported the lowest intensity of intrusions. Participants receiving DP reported the lowest burden of intrusions. Across groups, the expectation that intrusions will be intense and hardly controllable was associated with a higher frequency of intrusions, higher distress, higher burden, and more negative appraisal. The results suggest that expectations play a crucial role in the emergence of intrusive memories and that at least some of the disabling aspects of intrusive memories can be reduced by placebo.

Family Forum ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 ◽  
pp. 229-251
Katarina Kompan Erzar

 In this paper, we will present a study into the dynamics of the transmission of emotional traumatic in three families of victims of World War II and post-war communist oppression. This study is taken from a broader research project in which we investigated the experiences of nonclinical families that managed to survive through three generation, and in which post-traumatic growth is present, i. e. the ability to integrate traumatic experiences and provide greater security for future generations. The main focus will be on how emotional content is transmitted and transformed through generations and how to recognise it in various forms of behaviour, thinking and emotions, that appear in each of the generations. As we follow the transformation of traumatic content, we will also follow the the signs that show how traumatic content has integrated and begun to bring new, deeper emotional and mental insights. The emotional depth of the traumatic experience is what burdens the victim the most and slows down the dynamics of trauma processing. It appears in the form of symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome, insecurity and mistrust. This is found even in victims who have articulated the trauma sufficiently to rise above intimidation, managed to develop emotionally strong and connecting interpersonal relationships, maintain faith in the future, and form a coherent narrative of their traumatic past. The most interesting result of the research was that all three families, regardless of their diversity, are similar in term of processing the trauma. They were all able to speak openly about their traumatic experiences. In all three families there there was a great deal of discussion and searching for the social framework and personal truth of historical events, and the desire to present and describe the events that left such deep wounds in such a way that they would be clear, reworked and accessible to future generations as a document of the reality of some tragic and difficult times. Another source of trauma processing was religious faith, which allowed all the participants in this study to look at trauma and life more deeply, through relationships and connections between people and through a deeper understanding of human history embedded in a broader and deeper spiritual flow. Faith helped these families to find the courage to make decisions, to face life’s challenges, and to endure even the most severe of life's trials. A third source that facilitates the processing and integration of a traumatic experience is secure interpersonal relationships and compassionate parenting. Despite the fact that the whole question of parenting was demanding and full of challenges for our interviewees, the quality of parenting has been improved from generation to generation, and sincere affection for children and gratitude for children were present everywhere. The ability to follow the new generation and its initiatives while maintaining a connection to its roots is a dynamic that characterises all three families. There is also a lot of thinking and conscious effort in establishing and maintaining good marital relationships in these families. For the recovery from trauma this study shows the importance of talking about it and also talking about it in a safe relationship until it takes a form that is genuine and at the same time clear, coherent and thus suitable for the general public. That’s when the traumatic story ceases to be traumatizing and becomes a story of courage, perseverance, and truth.  

2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (2) ◽  
pp. 292
Clara Winter ◽  
Juliane Junge-Hoffmeister ◽  
Antje Bittner ◽  
Irene Gerstner ◽  
Kerstin Weidner

The choice of birthplace may have an important impact on a woman’s health. In this longitudinal study, we investigated the psychopathological risk factors that drive women’s choice of birthplace, since their influence is currently not well understood. The research was conducted in 2011/12 and we analyzed data of 177 women (obstetric unit, n = 121; free standing midwifery unit, n = 42; homebirth, n = 14). We focused antepartally (M  = 34.3 ± 3.3) on sociodemographic and risk factors of psychopathology, such as prenatal distress (Prenatal Distress Questionnaire), depressiveness (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale), birth anxiety (Birth Anxiety Scale), childhood trauma (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire), and postpartally (M = 6.65 ± 2.6) on birth experience (Salmon’s Item List), as well as psychological adaption, such as postpartum depressive symptoms (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale) and birth anxiety felt during birth (modified Birth Anxiety Scale). Women with fear of childbirth and the beginning of birth were likely to plan a hospital birth. In contrast, women with fear of touching and palpation by doctors and midwives, as well as women with childhood trauma, were more likely to plan an out-of-hospital birth. Furthermore, women with planned out-of-hospital births experienced a greater relief of their birth anxiety during the birth process than women with planned hospital birth. Our results especially show that women with previous mental illnesses, as well as traumatic experiences, seem to have special needs during childbirth, such as a safe environment and supportive care.

2022 ◽  
pp. 002076402110689
Deldar Morad Abdulah ◽  
Bayar Mohammed Omar Abdulla ◽  
Pranee Liamputtong

Background: In August 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacked the Sinjar district and destroyed several villages and towns and killed several individuals. Aim: In this study, the Yazidi young women who survived the ISIS attack were encouraged to express their lived experiences through paintings following participation in a 6-month art-based intervention program. Methods: A total of 13 Yazidi Kurdish females aged 18 to 25 years (Mean: 21.7 years) were invited to participate in an art-based (drawing and painting) course for 6 months in 2018. They were invited to draw or paint images that portrayed their lived experiences of attack and capture by the ISIS. Qualitative research situated within feminist methodology was used with the young women in this study. The interviews were analyzed using the descriptive content analysis method. Results: The paintings and narratives of the participants were constructed into three main themes: fear and traumatic experiences; feeling of hopelessness; and freedom and hope. During the attack and capture, due to the escape, rape, and horrific treatments by the ISIS fighters, the young women were traumatized severely. They were sold as a sex slave by the ISIS fighters. The participants still had severe anxiety and psychological challenges after being free from the capture. However, despite their traumatic experiences and feeling of hopelessness, most of them were hoping for freedom and a better future. Conclusions: This study showed that the Yazidi young females still experienced psychological challenges burdens even 3 years after the traumatic day. However, the participants showed their resilience through feeling hopeful for freedom and a better future.

Suzanna M. Koster ◽  
Hans M. Koot ◽  
Jamil A. Malik ◽  
Marit Sijbrandij

2022 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
Dixie Brea Larios ◽  
Gro Mjeldheim Sandal ◽  
Eugene Guribye ◽  
Valeria Markova ◽  
David Lackland Sam

Abstract Background The current situation in Afghanistan makes it likely that we are facing a new wave of Afghan refugees, warranting more knowledge about how to deal with mental health problems among them. This study aims to gain more knowledge on Explanatory Models (EM) of depression and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) among Afghan refugees resettled in Norway. Methods We conducted six gender-separated, semi-structured focusgroup interviews based on vignettes with Afghan refugees (total N = 27). The vignettes described a fictional character with symptoms of either depression or PTSD symptoms in line with DSM-5 and ICD-10 criteria. Results The findings showed that EM varied with gender, age, generation, and migration stories. Participants suggested different potential causes, risk factors, and ways of managing symptoms of depression and PTSD depending on the context (e.g., in Norway vs. Afghanistan). In describing the causes of the depression/PTSD in the vignettes, females tended to emphasize domestic problems and gender issues while males focused more on acculturation challenges. The younger males discussed mostly traumatic experiences before and during flight as possible causes. Conclusion The practice of condensing a single set of EMs within a group may not only be analytically challenging in a time-pressed clinical setting but also misleading. Rather, we advocate asking empathic questions and roughly mapping individual refugee patients’ perceptions on causes and treatment as a better starting point for building trusting relationships and inviting patients to share and put into practice their expertise about their own lives.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 177-184
Hayat Louati ◽  
Yousef Abu Amrieh

The present article explores the impact of “Things” on the healing journeys of the characters in Syrian American author Jennifer Zeynab Joukhader’s novel A Map of Salt and Stars (2018). It highlights the role of certain “Things” in Nour’s family’s healing process from the traumatic experiences of the Syrian war. The article also sheds light on the war’s reshaping of the objects and the individuals’ relationship with them. The objects that this article investigates are as varied as mundane utensils (a shattered plate), cherished souvenirs (Zahra’s bracelet), and even magical objects (Nour’s stone). Particularly, the article examines the establishment of the close association between the characters and these objects and the impact of this association on the family’s journey towards safety and recovery. For this reason, the present study is situated within the theoretical frameworks of the “Thing” theory and psychological trauma. This article argues that the close association that the characters establish with certain “Things” accompanies them during their grief and traumatic experiences, and subsequently initiates and facilitates their recovery.

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