EMOTIONAL DISCLOSURE AND STIGMA: HOW WRITING ABOUT PAST NEGATIVE EVENTS BENEFITS COGNITION

https://rucore.libraries.rutgers.edu/rutgers-lib/54075/PDF/1/play/

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The Effect of Expressive Disclosure Writing on Self-Stigma, Depression, and Anxiety among Drug Users in a Governmental Hospital in Egypt: A Non-Randomized Controlled Trial

https://scholarlypages.org/Articles/depression-and-anxiety/jdad-1-005.php?jid=depression-and-anxiety

Using Expressive Writing to Explore Thoughts and Beliefs about Cancer and Treatment among Chinese American Immigrant Breast Cancer Survivors

Psychooncology. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2017 Nov 1.
Published in final edited form as:
Psychooncology. 2016 Nov; 25(11): 1371–1374.

Published online 2015 Sep 25. doi:  10.1002/pon.3991

Qian Lu, Ph.D., M.D.,1 Nelson C. Y. Yeung, M.Phil.,1 Jin You, Ph.D.,2 and Jiajie Dai, M.S.1

Effects of disclosure of traumatic events on illness behavior among psychiatric prison inmates.

J Abnorm Psychol. 2000 Feb;109(1):156-60.

Richards JM1, Beal WE, Seagal JD, Pennebaker JW.

To assess the health effects of writing about traumatic events in a clinical population, 98 psychiatric prison inmates were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions in which they were asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings surrounding upsetting experiences (trauma writing condition), write about trivial topics (trivial writing control), or go about their daily routine without writing (no-writing control). Both writing groups wrote for 20 min per day for 3 consecutive days. Participants in the trauma condition reported experiencing more physical symptoms subsequent to the intervention relative to those in the other conditions. Despite this, controlling for prewriting infirmary visits, sex offenders in the trauma writing condition decreased their postwriting infirmary visits. These results are congruent with predictions based on stigmatization and inhibition.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10740948

Minority stressors and dual identities: an analysis of lesbians’ expressive writing journals.

J Lesbian Stud. 2008;12(4):501-17. doi: 10.1080/10894160802278663.

The purpose of the current study was to examine the content of the expressive writing journals of female sexual minorities. In addition, the relationship between the content of expressive writing journals and mood and perceived stress measured two months later was examined. Journal content was also examined as a function of demographic characteristics. Thirty-nine participants each wrote a total of six journal entries about significant stressful or traumatic events or recurring problems they have experienced as lesbians. Topics that participants wrote about were differentness, leading a double life, coming out, discrimination, rejection, fears of rejection and safety, self-acceptance, and same- and opposite-sex intimate experiences. Themes of feeling different, negative coming out experiences, and negative same-sex intimate experiences were associated with more psychological distress two months after the expressive writing exercise. Occupational level was associated with themes related to leading a double life and negative same-sex and coming out experiences. These results are considered in light of the unique minority stressors experienced by lesbians as well as the difficulties inherent in lesbians having ties to both lesbian and heterosexual cultures.

Expressive writing reduces avoidance and somatic complaints in a community sample with constraints on expression.

Br J Health Psychol. 2008 Feb;13(Pt 1):53-6. doi: 10.1348/135910707X251180.

Swanbon T1, Boyce L, Greenberg MA.

This experimental study examined expressive writing (EW) in a community sample with social constraints on self-expression. Gay men (N=62) were assigned randomly to describe gay-related thoughts and feelings (EW) or to write objectively (CTRL). Self-reported symptoms and physician visits were assessed at baseline and 1- and 2-month follow-ups.

RESULTS:

Significant GroupxTime interaction for somatic symptoms indicated buffering effect of EW. EW reduced gay-related avoidance, relative to CTRL. Avoidance and symptom changes were significantly, positively associated.

CONCLUSIONS:

Consistent with inhibition theory, EW reduces chronic avoidance and buffers stress-related physical symptoms in stigmatized groups.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18230232