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ASU Cognitive and Mood Symptoms Discussion Response

ASU Cognitive and Mood Symptoms Discussion Response


Reply to Tina:

Although all of the PTSD symptoms listed in our text are distressing, unpleasant, and unwanted, I feel that those listed under the category of “alterations in cognitions and mood” would be the most difficult for a traumatized person to manage (Sanderson, 2013, p. 21). 

The first issue surrounds the symptom of dissociative amnesia, which often occurs when a person is unable to remember important aspects of a traumatic experience (American Psychological Association, n.d.). In most talk and exposure based therapies used for treating trauma, an important aspect of treatment is to discuss the traumatic event. This is evident in the use of the trauma narrative in both Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE). Due to the efficacy of exposure-based interventions, Kauhn and Hoffman (2021) stress the importance of clients recovering and verbalizing their traumatic memories. When a trauma survivor experiences dissociative amnesia, and is unable to recall the traumatic event in detail, it may slow the healing process.

The second symptomatic concern is that of persistent negativity, and the “inability to experience positive emotions” (Sanderson, 2013, p.21). In terms of DSM-V, PTSD symptom clusters, and suicide risk, Chou et. al. (2020) determined that those traumatized individuals with prominent NACM symptoms (negative alterations in cognition and mood) showed greater risk for suicidal ideations compared to the other symptom clusters. Many individuals attempt symptom relief through the use of alcohol or other controlled substances.  In the United States those who meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD have a 46.4% chance of also receiving a SUD (Substance Use Disorder) diagnosis at some point throughout their lifetime (Kaun & Hoffman, 2021). Further, the NACM symptom cluster may also lead to a comorbid diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in over 50% of those diagnosed with PTSD (Post et. al., 2021). Post and colleagues (2021) note that the inability to to manage one’s negative emotions and affect is found in both disorders and increases the usage rate of negative coping strategies such as emotional numbing, and suppression.

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