Excerpt from “PTSD’s true colour: Examining the effect of colouring on anxiety, stress, and working memory in veterans”

Given the high prevalence of PTSD in veterans (up to 30%), it is important to consider alternative treatments targeted at reducing some of the negative mental health symptoms, such as anxiety and stress. Colouring, and art therapy more generally, has been reported to be one of the most effective treatments in reducing the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

In their paper “PTSD’s true colour: Examining the effect of colouring on anxiety, stress, and working memory in veterans” published in Mental Health & Prevention Journal, Jourdan Rodak, Tracy Packiam Alloway, and Mikaela Rizzo study the relation between colouring, which is known as art therapy, and PTSD veterans.

The findings revealed several key patterns: (1) veterans with PTSD showed decreased anxiety in the structured colouring condition, but not free-form colouring condition; (2) veterans with PTSD showed decreased stress in both structured and free-form colouring conditions; (3) both those with and without PTSD had higher working memory scores in the free-form colouring condition.

For more information: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2212657018300679