Contextualizing traumatic memories
Although disturbances in autobiographical memory are widely known in clinical populations, a limited amount of research has focused on how different contexts affect autobiographical memory in relation to the pathogenesis of these disorders. One disorder of particular relevance to the study of autobiographical memory is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Given the importance of autobiographical memory in PTSD, this chapter examines a relatively under-studied way in which context may shape memory in the wake of a traumatic event and the extent to which this might be an important predictor in outcomes to trauma, namely, beliefs and appraisals about one's self. The chapter further discusses the self-memory system (SMS) before surveying advances in clinical theory and experimental research that might bear on the onset, maintenance and treatment of PTSD. Over general memory (OGM) in PTSD has been reported across various trauma-exposed populations, including Vietnam veterans, cancer survivor and injured individuals with acute stress disorder.