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Biol Psychiatry. 2002 Jun 1;51(11):867-74.

Stress-induced analgesia: prediction of posttraumatic stress symptoms in battered versus nonbattered women.

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  • 1Center for Trauma Recovery, University of Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri 63121, USA.



Chronic and inescapable trauma is implicated in the stress-induced analgesia (SIA) response.


A sample of 27 chronically battered women was compared with 28 trauma-exposed nonbattered women on their SIA response at 1 month postindex assault.


For the battered women sample, the SIA response at 1 month postindex assault was found to significantly predict an increase in posttraumatic stress disorder-related hyperarousal at 3 months postindex assault. Furthermore, the battered women showed a significant increase in depression symptoms from 1 to 3 months postindex assault compared with the nonbattered women, who showed a significant decrease.


The findings suggest that the chronic and inescapable nature of trauma exposure in the battered women might account for an SIA response that is qualitatively different from that seen in the nonbattered women. It is suggested that the mechanism underlying the SIA response in battered women might be opioid mediated and that it might be responsible for the significant prediction of physiologic hyperarousal. Furthermore, this hyperarousal might moderate the relationship between the SIA response and depression.

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