Nightmares and alexithymia in traumatized North Korean refugees

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2021
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Lee, Somi
Lee, Jooyoung
Jeon, Sehyun
Kim, Somin
Seo, Yumin
Lee, Yu Jin
Kim, Seog Ju
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Sleep Medicine. Elsevier. 2021, 86, pp. 75-80. ISSN 1389-9457. eISSN 1878-5506. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2021.08.005
Zusammenfassung

Background
The present study examined the association between nightmare distress and alexithymia in traumatized North Korean (NK) refugees resettled in South Korea and the effects of clinical or subclinical psychiatric symptoms on this association.

Methods
Thirty-eight NK refugees living in South Korea who had traumatic experiences (15 males, 23 females; 29.50 ± 13.11 years of age) were recruited. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and the Clinician-Administered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Scale were conducted. All participants completed a series of questionnaires on the history of their previous traumatic experiences, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Nightmare Distress Questionnaire (NDQ), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), and the Impact of Event Scale. In total, 18 refugees were classified as having nightmare distress based on NDQ scores, and 20 refugees were not.

Results
Refugees with nightmares reported significantly higher TAS total scores and Difficulty Identifying Feelings (DIF; a subscale of TAS) scores compared to those without nightmares. In addition, NDQ scores were positively correlated with TAS total scores (r = 0.43, p < 0.01) and DIF scores (r = 0.49, p < 0.01). These correlations remained significant after excluding refugees with current axis I psychiatric disorders or clinical or subclinical depressive symptoms. However, there was no significant correlation between nightmares and alexithymia after excluding refugees with clinical or subclinical trauma-related symptoms.

Conclusions
Nightmares in traumatized refugees were associated with alexithymia even in the absence of current psychiatric disorders or depressive symptoms. Trauma-related symptoms might be a mediating factor between nightmares and alexithymia in traumatized refugees.

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ISO 690LEE, Somi, Jooyoung LEE, Sehyun JEON, Somin KIM, Yumin SEO, Jinme PARK, Yu Jin LEE, Seog Ju KIM, 2021. Nightmares and alexithymia in traumatized North Korean refugees. In: Sleep Medicine. Elsevier. 2021, 86, pp. 75-80. ISSN 1389-9457. eISSN 1878-5506. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2021.08.005
BibTex
@article{Lee2021-10Night-55242,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.1016/j.sleep.2021.08.005},
  title={Nightmares and alexithymia in traumatized North Korean refugees},
  volume={86},
  issn={1389-9457},
  journal={Sleep Medicine},
  pages={75--80},
  author={Lee, Somi and Lee, Jooyoung and Jeon, Sehyun and Kim, Somin and Seo, Yumin and Park, Jinme and Lee, Yu Jin and Kim, Seog Ju}
}
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