A relaxation period is important after a traumatic incident: Mental recovery can be reinforced

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LONDON: A relaxation period after traumatic events can support mental recovery from negative memories, according to studies that may help develop a new treatment approach for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The study, published in Scientific Reports, showed the neurological mechanisms being played when some people develop memory disturbances after trauma, but others do not.

The researchers, including those from University College London (UCL) in the UK, presented emotionally negative videos to 85 participants, followed by a rest period, or a simple control task. requires them to pay attention to numbers on screen.

The videos contained very emotional content such as people who were seriously injured, or serious accidents, and the study noted.

According to the researchers, participants who had a rest period after seeing the videos reported less disruption to the memory the following week.

On the contrary, there was no difference between the rest and the simple control task on a memory test which assessed the participants' recall when they wanted.

The researchers stated that rest and certain stages of sleep increased processing in the hippocampus – the brain region responsible for memory, which placed memories in context.

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They suggested that it was beneficial to strengthen this contextual memory system to disrupt involuntary memory after trauma.

"The coherence of memories is often interfered with when people are exposed to psychological trauma, meaning that emotions are unintentionally coming up and out of context," said UCL co-author Neil Burgess.

However, Burgess pointed out that incident memorials can be partially re-instated with rest, thus facilitating the management of your journey.

The researchers pointed out that specific brain systems could be targeted to reduce the development of PTSD, as treatments that focus on re-exposure and integrate the trauma with other information are beneficial.

"Our results contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms being played when some people develop memory disturbances after trauma and others do not," said the Lone Horlyck study author from UCL.

Traumatic event (t) World Mental Health Day (t) PTSD (t) mental recovery (t) Mental Health (t) post traumatic stress disorder (t) post traumatic stress disorder (t) Negative memories (t) t University College London

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