Trauma-Related Nightmares among American Indian Veterans: Views from the Dream CatcherReportar como inadecuado

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American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research: The Journal of the National Center, v16 n1 p25-38 Feb 2009

Dreams hold particular relevance in mental health work with American Indians (AIs). Nightmares are a common sequelae of trauma and a frequent defining feature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite mounting evidence of the prevalence of trauma and PTSD among AIs and the important cultural role of dreams, no work to date has directly examined nightmares in trauma. Drawing from epidemiological and clinical sources, data are presented about nightmares among Northern Plains AI veterans. Nightmares are common among these veterans: 97% of combat veterans with PTSD report nightmares. These rates are higher than rates among other veteran populations. The frequency of nightmares and sleep disturbances increases with trauma and PTSD severity in this population. Qualitative materials, in the form of a brief cultural overview and a case presentation, are included to illustrate clinical and cultural contexts of nightmares in the Northern Plains. Clinicians working with this population should be aware of the high frequency and cultural context of nightmares for AI veterans. In order to improve culturally appropriate care, further research is needed to better understand the frequency, meaning, and context of nightmares in trauma and PTSD for AI populations. (Contains 1 table.)

Descriptors: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, American Indians, Sleep, Cultural Context, Veterans, American Indian Culture, Mental Health, Tribes, Incidence, Cultural Influences, Counseling Techniques, Stress Variables, War

American Indian and Alaska Native Programs. University of Colorado Health Services Center, P.O. Box 6508, Mail Stop F800, Aurora, CO 80045-0508. Tel: 303-724-1414; Fax: 303-724-1474; Web site:

Autor: Shore, Jay H.; Orton, Heather; Manson, Spero M.


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