Ptsd and Intelligence

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Intelligence
Honors Literature Review/Thesis
Laurel K. Fauster
Thesis Chair Jerry Bruce
Sam Houston State University

Author Note
Laurel K. Fauster, Department of Psychology, Sam Houston State University. Thesis Chair Dr. Jerry Bruce, Department of Psychology, Sam Houston State University. Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to Laurel K. Fauster, Department of Psychology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas 77341-2447.

Abstract
This study sought to find an effect between intelligence level and post-traumatic stress disorder. A literature review was conducted to ascertain what researchers have discovered regarding the effect of intelligence level on post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as to provide a general overview on post-traumatic stress disorder, intelligence, and the possible link between these two variables. Face to face observation of post-traumatic stress disorder support groups, as well as informal interviews were also included to further support this study’s content. This study has implications for researchers in the areas of intelligence and post-traumatic stress disorder, clinicians, therapists, military operations, palliative care, research in victimology and abuse, as well as social science and other research interests.

Keywords: Post-traumatic stress disorder, Intelligence, PTSD, IQ, Risk factors.

Precis
This paper began years ago when, as a police officer, and later as an instructor in the private sector working with military special forces units, I came into contact with sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and began to wonder how best to help them. During independent study of the subject I sought to understand the signs and symptoms, as well as the risk factors for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Being that police officers are frequent sufferers of this disorder, and that many more are also former military veterans, it was noticeable that those with higher intelligence levels did not avoid the disorder, but rather presented in a far different manner than their counterparts having more average or lower intelligence. Those with greater intellect may not have realized that they, in fact, did have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and this would most certainly have precluded a professional diagnosis and therefore beneficial treatment. However, late at night when the world is still and sleeping, the quiet conversations between trusted comrades revealed that these men and women suffer in silence, and that their personal hell is as real as any other sufferer, but that their wit and intellect prevent an accurate outside view to the internal cacophony that is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This paper seeks through literature review to better understand Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, intelligence, and the link between the two. First I will consider Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, then intelligence. Next the science as to the correlation between the two will be studied. Then I shall recount personal observations related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and intelligence. Finally I will argue that lower intelligence is perhaps not so much a risk factor but rather an indicator of the presentation of the disorder, and that how intelligence is measured in sufferers if of interest. To this end I hope to provide a brief overview of the subject and lay the foundation for further academic study.

"...those who traffic in violence, regardless of the justice of their cause, risk their hearts and minds as much as their lives. And those who retain their integrity throughout the ordeal deserve our respect, for it is on our behalf that they fight."

~Edward Conlon~

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Intelligence
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
It is well known that trauma affects humans mentally and emotionally. The first credited, documented scientific formulation of the psychological effects...
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