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A cognitive model of recurrent nightmares

Spoormaker, Victor I.

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Abstract

Nightmares are a prevalent mental disorder resulting in disturbed sleep, distress, and impairment in daily functioning. Elaborating on previous theoretical models for anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and dreaming, this study introduces a cognitive model of recurrent nightmares, the central element of which concerns representation of the nightmare’s repetitive storyline in the memory as a script. It is suggested that activation of this script during REM sleep results in a replay of the nightmare, and that activation occurs through perceived similarity between dream elements and the nightmare script. The model proposes a central role for cognitive processes in the persistence of nightmares over time. The success of cognitive-behavioural treatments is explained and clinical implications are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 11. Jun 2008 14:34
Date: 2008
Faculties / Institutes: Service facilities > Uni-externe Einrichtungen
Subjects: 150 Psychology
Controlled Keywords: Alptraum, Traum
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nightmares , Cognition , Theory , Script , PTSD
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