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Cognitive processes in post-traumatic stress disorder

Author(s): Gamze Yıldırımlı | Ahmet Tosun

Journal: International Journal of Human Sciences
ISSN 1303-5134

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1429;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: trauma | anxiety | cognition | attention | memory | dissociation

Post-traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) consists of a pattern of symptoms that include cognitive, affective, sensory and behavioral systems. In PTSD, the individual experiences disturbing emotions and sensations such as anxiety, panic, depression, anger, tension, high startle response and hypervigilance as a result of reexperiencing traumatic memories, flashbacks, attention difficulties, memory loss, nightmares and intrusive thoughts. The cognitive approach asserts that cognitions play a triggering and maintaining role for these symptoms and tries to explain them with the information processing framework. According to this approach, the traumatic event that is experienced is processed differently from daily, ordinary events. This different information processing strategy stands out in attention, memory, dissociation, cognitive beliefs, cognition-affect processes and coping strategies. In the present paper, research on how these constructs that are parts of the information processing in cognitive systems function in PTSD will be reviewed.
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