Subject Area

Counseling, Psychology


Details about Deaf people’s pattern of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms remain relatively unknown due to inaccessible methods used in most epidemiological research. We conducted semi-structured American Sign Language interviews with 16 trauma-exposed Deaf individuals to explore their PTSD symptom patterns. Half met criteria for current PTSD, a rate higher than the general population. Underlying this disparity may be heightened rates of dissociation and psychogenic amnesia reported by many Deaf trauma survivors. Future research with large samples of Deaf survivors is needed to clarify this hypothesis, and to inform interventions that more accurately target Deaf people’s pattern of trauma symptoms.