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Table of Contents
Vol. 76, No. 1, 2007
Issue release date: December 2006
Section title: Special Article
Psychother Psychosom 2007;76:25–39
(DOI:10.1159/000096362)

Dreaming in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Critical Review of Phenomenology, Psychophysiology and Treatment

Wittmann L.a · Schredl M.b · Kramer M.c
aDepartment of Psychiatry, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland; bCentral Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany; cDepartment of Psychiatry, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Special Article

Published online: December 08, 2006
Issue release date: December 2006

Number of Print Pages: 15
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 4

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS

Abstract

This review summarizes the available knowledge on the phenomenology of posttraumatic dreams. Posttraumatic nightmares are reported by up to 70% of individuals suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An extensive review of polysomnographic studies suggests that neither this high incidence nor the occurrence of posttraumatic nightmares throughout the sleep cycle can be explained by altered REM sleep parameters. The assumption that a reduction of dream recall may serve as a coping mechanism in PTSD patients is questionable. About 50% of posttraumatic dreams comprise exact replications of the traumatic events. Therefore dreams in PTSD do not have stereotypical content. Data characterizing non-replicative posttraumatic dreams and indicating a change in dream content over time must be considered preliminary. Occurrence of posttraumatic dreams is associated with psychopathological developments. Imagery Rehearsal Therapy has repeatedly been proven to be a valuable tool in treating patients suffering from posttraumatic dream disturbance. A deeper knowledge of posttraumatic dreams is essential for any theory of PTSD as well as for a better understanding of the overall function of dreaming.

© 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Special Article

Published online: December 08, 2006
Issue release date: December 2006

Number of Print Pages: 15
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 4

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS


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Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.