Azara Blog: Talking allegedly has an impact on people who experience trauma

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Date published: 2008/06/02

The BBC says:

People who do not talk about traumatic experiences can fare better than those who "let it all out", say researchers.

The University at Buffalo study compared the progress of 3,000 people who took different approaches over two years following the 9/11 attacks.

It found people initially unwilling to talk were less likely to be adversely affected two years later.

But a UK psychologist said that other studies had suggested that for many people talking did help.

Unfortunately this study, and no doubt the related studies, make the usual classic confusion between correlation and causation. So it's quite possible (and perhaps even likely) that whether someone was willing or unwilling to talk has no (causative) bearing on how they fare later on, it's some other factor which is the real determinant. And the fact that the "experts" cannot even agree on the direction of the correlation is a telling indication.

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