Image control and symptom expression in posttraumatic stress disorder

Nathaniel Laor*, Leo Wolmer, Zeev Wiener, Ronit Weizman, Paz Toren, Samuel Ron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the devastating impact of affective dysregulation in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there has been little research on how trauma relates to affect regulation. This study examines the relationship between the cognitive capacity to control mental images and symptoms of individuals with (N = 23) and without (N = 23) PTSD after exposure to SCUD missile attacks during the Gulf War. The capacity to control mental images, symptoms of post-trauma, anxiety, and anger were assessed. PTSD subjects with a high image control reported a higher capacity to control anger, lower levels of anger state and expression, and lower levels of intrusive symptoms compared with PTSD subjects with low image control. In individuals without PTSD, results show that the better the image control, the lower the control of anger and the higher the expression of anger. Image control seems to play different functions in the emotional regulation of normal subjects (facilitatory) and PTSD patients (protective).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-679
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


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