Substance Abuse-Related Self-Stigma in Women with Substance Use Disorder and Comorbid Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Melchior, Hanne GND; Hüsing, Paul GND; Grundmann, Johanna; Lotzin, Annett GND; Hiller, Philipp GND; Pan, Yiqi; Driessen, Martin GND; Scherbaum, Norbert GND; Schneider, Barbara GND; Hillemacher, Thomas GND; Stolzenburg, Susanne GND; Schomerus, Georg GND; Schäfer, Ingo GND

Background: Self-stigma is a result of internalizing negative stereotypes by the affected person. Research on self-stigma in substance use disorders (SUD) is still scarce, especially regarding the role of childhood trauma and subsequent posttraumatic disorders.

Objectives: The present study investigated the progressive model of self-stigma in women with SUD and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the predictive value of PTSD severity and childhood trauma experiences on self-stigma.

Method: In a cross-sectional study with 343 women with SUD and PTSD, we used the Self-Stigma in Alcohol Dependency Scale, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), the PTSD Symptom Scale Interview (PSS-I), and to control for SUD severity and depression, the Addiction Severity Index Lite and the Beck Depression Inventory-II. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for each stage of self-stigma ( aware-agree-apply-harm ).

Results: The interrelated successive stages of self-stigma were largely confirmed. In the regression models, no significant effects of the PSS-I- and the CTQ-scores were observed at any stage of self-stigma. Agreeing with negative stereotypes was solely predicted by younger age, applying these stereotypes to oneself was higher in women with younger age, higher depression and SUD severity, and suffering from the application ( harm ) was only predicted by depression. Conclusions: The progressive model of self-stigma could be confirmed in women with SUD and PTSD, but PTSD severity and childhood trauma did not directly affect this process. Self-stigma appears to be related to depression in a stronger way than PTSD is related to women with SUD and PTSD.

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Melchior, H., Hüsing, P., Grundmann, J., Lotzin, A., Hiller, P., Pan, Y., Driessen, M., Scherbaum, N., Schneider, B., Hillemacher, T., Stolzenburg, S., Schomerus, G., Schäfer, I., 2019. Substance Abuse-Related Self-Stigma in Women with Substance Use Disorder and Comorbid Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. https://doi.org/10.1159/000496113
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