Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 621–629

Posttraumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, and pseudomemories in closed head injury

  • Richard A. Bryant
Brief Report

DOI: 10.1007/BF02103671

Cite this article as:
Bryant, R.A. J Trauma Stress (1996) 9: 621. doi:10.1007/BF02103671


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is rarely diagnosed in patients with significant head injury. This paper reviews two patients who were amnesic for events surrounding their motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) but developed delayed-onset PTSD. Symptoms included vivid images of the MVAs that were based on information learnt following the trauma. These cases indicate that amnesic head injured patients can suffer pseudomemories that are phenomenologically similar to flashbacks observed in PTSD. Implications for understanding the nature of flashbacks are discussed.

Key words

posttraumatic stress motor vehicle accidents traumatic brain injury flashbacks pseudomemories 

Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Bryant
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of New South Wales, NSWSydneyAustralia

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