Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Well-Being Following Relationship Dissolution: Past Trauma, Alexithymia, Suppression

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Abstract

To investigate whether posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from past trauma, alexithymia and suppression would impact on the experience of Posttraumatic Stress symptoms (PTSS) and psychological well-being following romantic relationship dissolution. One hundred and eighty-nine participants completed questionnaires measuring PTSD, alexithymia, suppression, PTSS and psychological well-being. The results showed that following relationship dissolution, higher levels of intrusion and avoidance (PTSS) and lower levels of psychological well-being were associated with PTSD from past trauma. Difficulty describing feelings was associated negatively with intrusion; difficulty identifying feelings was associated positively with psychological well-being. Suppression was associated negatively with avoidance. To conclude, PTSD from past traumas was related to PTSS symptoms and poor psychological well-being. Alexithymia and suppression were also related to the above outcomes but in a symptom-specific manner.