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Effective reflection to treat post-traumatic stress

Meditation can be as effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as current therapies, says a study of US soldiers treated for PTSD published in the Lancet Psychiatry Friday.

Effective reflection to treat post-traumatic stress

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs after a traumatic incident in the context of death, death threats, serious injury or sexual assault.

It is characterized by repetitive and invasive memories of the event, evenings, avoiding any element (where, situations) that remember trauma, identifying disorders or depression.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is often among the victims of bomb and soldiers (14% of American troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer).

Existing treatments include frequent exposure therapy. It involves bringing the person with PTSD to gradually disclose the situations, places, images, ideas, sounds, smells and memories that are related to them. a traumatic event, to "have" the body to give a maximum response to the traumatic reminder elements, and thus to reduce the avoidance.

But this technique is painful for PTSD sufferers and 30-45% of patients leave the treatment, says the study.

Researchers in three American universities tested the practice of reflecting with a study of 203 US troops with PTSD.

The soldiers, men and women were divided into three groups:

  • a reflection meditation;
  • Second exposure therapy;
  • The third had a theoretical course of post-traumatic stress.

60% veterans practicing 20 minutes of reflection daily had significantly improved their symptoms, and were more likely to complete the study than the group that is open to therapy exposure.

Reflection is about focusing on an object or idea to reach a state of mind, calm and peaceful.

"Meditation can be practiced only, almost anywhere and at any time, without the need for specialist equipment or personal support", told AFP Sanford Nidich, lead author of the study.

"Given the growing problem caused by post-traumatic stress in the United States, Great Britain and elsewhere in the world, alternative therapies as a meditation must be part of the options operated by the health authorities."he said.

Created November 18, 2018


Non-traumatic reflection against depression therapy in post-traumatic stress disorder: randomly controlled trial – Sanford Nidich et al. – The Lancys Pyschiaty November 15, 2018 (available online)

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