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Arousal, numbing, and intrusion: symptom structure of PTSD following assault
Am J Psychiatry 1995;152:116-120.
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated hypotheses concerning the importance of symptoms of numbing in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHODS: Symptoms of PTSD were assessed in 72 female rape victims and 86 female victims of nonsexual assault approximately 3 months after the crimes occurred. A principal-components factor analysis of subjects' symptoms was then undertaken. RESULTS: The analysis yielded three factors: arousal/avoidance, numbing, and intrusion. These were somewhat different from the symptom clusters in DSM-III-R, since effortful avoidance and numbing symptoms did not load on the same factor. Numbing symptoms appeared to be particularly important in identifying individuals with PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: The results imply that there are two patterns of posttrauma symptoms, one characterizing PTSD and the second characterizing a phobic reaction.

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