Disgust is a universally experienced negative emotion that evolved from a basic response designed to protect us from ingesting potentially harmful substances to a broader response aimed at distancing us from any stimuli with the potential to harm our physical, psychological, or moral well-being. Emerging research demonstrates a critical role for disgust in traumatic events that involve exposure to potential contaminants (e.g., blood, vomit, and disease), death and decay, betrayal, and sexual or moral violation. Disgust has been linked to symptoms of PTSD and a range of other trauma-related outcomes including mental contamination (i.e., internal feelings of dirtiness in the absence of a physical contaminant), moral injury (i.e., injury to an individual's moral conscience resulting from a perceived transgression of deeply held moral beliefs), obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual aversion, substance use, and suicidal behavior. This chapter offers considerations for clinical assessment and treatment of trauma-related disgust and considers future directions for research.
|Title of host publication||Emotion in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder|
|Subtitle of host publication||Etiology, Assessment, Neurobiology, and Treatment|
|Number of pages||27|
|State||Published - Feb 3 2020|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- Mental contamination
- Moral injury
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (all)