The internalizing and externalizing structure of psychiatric comorbidity in combat veterans
ABSTRACT This study examined the latent structure of psychiatric disorders in a sample with a high prevalence of PTSD. A series of confirmatory factor analyses tested competing models for the covariation between Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R diagnoses among 1,325 Vietnam veterans. The best-fitting solution was a 3-factor model that included two correlated internalizing factors: anxious-misery, defined by PTSD and major depression, and fear, defined by panic disorder/agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The third factor, externalizing, was defined by antisocial personality disorder, alcohol abuse/dependence, and drug abuse/dependence. Both substance-related disorders also showed significant, albeit smaller, cross-loadings on the anxious-misery factor. These findings shed new light on the structure of psychiatric comorbidity in a treatment-seeking sample characterized by high rates of PTSD.
SourceAvailable from: Susan Kashubeck-West[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Using a sample of 289 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, this study examined the contributions of combat exposure, agency, perceived threat, and guilt to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Regression analyses indicated the four variables (together with demographic variables) accounted for 79% of the variance in PTSD symptoms. Guilt was the most important predictor. In addition, guilt mediated between exposure and PTSD symptoms, perceived threat and PTSD symptoms, and agency and PTSD symptoms. Implications of these findings are discussed.01/2015; 93(1). DOI:10.1002/j.1556-6676.2015.00176.x
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ABSTRACT: A core manifestation of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disconnection between physiological state and psychological or behavioral processes necessary to adequately respond to environmental demands. Patients with PTSD experience abnormal oscillations in autonomic states supporting either fight and flight behaviors or withdrawal, immobilization, and dissociation without an intervening "calm" state that would provide opportunities for positive social interactions. This defensive autonomic disposition is adaptive in dangerous and life threatening situations, but in the context of every-day life may lead to significant psychosocial distress and deteriorating social relationships. The perpetuation of these maladaptive autonomic responses may contribute to the development of comorbid mental health issues such as depression, loneliness, and hostility that further modify the nature of cardiovascular behavior in the context of internal and external stressors. Over time, changes in autonomic, endocrine, and immune function contribute to deteriorating health, which is potently expressed in brain dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. In this theoretical review paper, we present an overview of the literature on the chronic health effects of PTSD. We discuss the brain networks underlying PTSD in the context of autonomic efferent and afferent contributions and how disruption of these networks leads to poor health outcomes. Finally, we discuss treatment approaches based on our theoretical model of PTSD.Frontiers in Psychology 01/2014; 5:1571. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01571 · 2.80 Impact Factor