Psychological adaptation of anxiety disorder patients following repeated exposure to emergency situations

Eli Somer, Giora Keinan, Devora Carmil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Thirty one patients in treatment for anxiety disorders and 31 controls were interviewed within hours after both the first and second Iraqi missile attacks on Israel during the Gulf war. After the first attack patients did not report higher anxiety levels, nor were they more pessimistic about the war and their fate in the war than the control subjects. Anxiety disorder patients tended to be engaged in cognitive-behavioral tactics for self-calming, while control subjects clearly preferred to cope by interacting with their social and physical environments. Following the second missile bombardment, patients were more inclined to retain their initial levels of anxiety and pessimism, while controls seem to have better adapted and showed significant improvements in those variables. The results are discussed in terms of coping skills and vulnerability as factors influencing adaptation to prolonged emergency situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-221
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

Keywords

  • adaptation
  • anxiety disorder
  • coping styles
  • emergency
  • the Gulf war

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