Year: 2022 Source: Journal of Affective Disorders, (2023), 320, 742-750. Published online 1 January 2023. SIEC No: 20221021
Introduction First responders are routinely and regularly exposed to traumatic events that can clinically manifest with a symptom constellation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety, depression, and suicidality. Methods We used network analysis to examine baseline data from treatment seeking first responders (n = 308) to examine the interrelatedness of those constructs, including a measure of resilience. We estimated two models: a regularized partial correlation network and a Bayesian Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). Results The models reveal converging evidence highlighting the central role of negative alterations in cognitions and mood PTSD cluster along with affective depression. These nodes did not significantly differ, though they were among the strongest in the partial correlation network and shared the most variance with the other nodes. The DAG results suggested that the negative alterations in cognitions and mood PTSD cluster predicted downstream constructs of affective depression; intrusion, hyperarousal, and avoidance PTSD clusters; and resilience. Only resilience and affective depression exhibited direct effects on suicidality. Both somatic depression and suicidality were endogenous endpoints in the DAG. Resilience exhibited an inverse path to suicide. However, resilience was relatively independent of the other constructs in the models and the DAG suggested that it was a consequence of PTSD related distress. Limitations The data is cross-sectional in nature that should be followed up in longitudinal studies. Conclusion Findings are discussed in respect to the role of distress and emotional dysregulation as common factors underlying a broad range of internalizing problems.