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  • Titill er á ensku The Impact of Social Trauma among Outpatients with Social Anxiety Disorder Compared to Individuals with No Mental Disorders
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Trauma have mostly been researched in the context of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this study, we explored whether there may exist at least two types of trauma; imminent threat to life and social trauma (humiliation, rejection or ridicule), and whether there were differences in the type and severity of social trauma endured by outpatients with a primary diagnosis of social anxiety disorder (SAD) compared to individuals with no mental disorders (the comparison group). The SAD group consisted of 35 outpatients (M age = 28,3, SD = 11.5, 54.3% were female) and the comparison group consisted of 26 individuals (M age = 28.9, SD = 9.8, 57.7% were female). A majority of all participants reported social trauma (having had an experience of being severely humiliated, ridiculed, or rejected). Bullying was common in both groups, but mental/physical and/or sexual violence/harassment was only experienced in the SAD group. The social trauma experienced by the SAD group were rated as being, on average, more severe in the comparison group. Higher severity scores were associated with higher symptoms of social anxiety and depression, worse quality of life and more functional impairment, and the severity of the social trauma predicted being diagnosed with SAD. Of all those who reported social trauma in the SAD group, 40% met criteria for social PTSD (meeting full DSM-IV criteria for PTSD in response to a socially traumatic event or experience) or had clinically significant post traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Bullying and mental/physical and/or sexual violence/harassment were common experiences that led to social PTSD or PTSS. Certain experiences (such as teasing, perceived traumatic remarks, experiencing a social mishap and feeling like an outsider) are not likely to lead to social PTSD or PTSS. Severity of the social trauma is likely a part of the explanation for why some individuals go on to develop SAD, and clinically significant PTSS in relation to the event. This line of research may have, if replicated, important implications for theoretical models of SAD and in stimulating research on the similarities and differences between SAD and PTSD.

  • 2.6.2016

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