PTSD Linked To Physical Problems
> 7/27/2007 8:46:02 AM

A new study, conducted at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research and published in the journal, Psychosomatic Medicine, has found that people who develop post-traumatic stress disorder are at a higher risk for developing physical problems. The study surveyed 896 men and women who had survived an explosion seven years ago, which killed 23 people and injured 1,000. The participants who reported having PTSD were more than twice as likely to have physical problems such as headaches, swelling and other vascular problems, the study found. Researchers also discovered that those diagnosed with the disorder reported being in poorer overall physical condition.

Researcher, Dr. Anja J. E. Dirkzwage believes the study was necessary due to the lack of extensive studies into the relationship between exposure to a disaster and one's physical health. Researchers studied the medical records of the participants one year prior to to the explosion and up to four years after. The study revealed that a year and a half following the disaster, 18 percent of the participants had manifested PSTD. Of that percentage, one in five respondents reported being physically unhealthier, having less energy and suffering from more physical setbacks than those who did not have the disorder. In addition to that, those with PTSD also reported having headaches and indigestion—physical problems often closely associated with emotional problems.

The results of the study found a strong link between PTSD and physical ailments such as vascular, musculoskeletal and dermatologic problems. This new data should raise awareness of the physical problems that can be associated with PTSD. This information, if verified in further testing, should inform the treatment of those with PTSD, who we now see may be at increased risk for physical ailments. It would be beneficial for clinicians to familiarize themselves with these new findings if only to have an eye out for potential problems with clients already facing PTSD.


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Posted by: Eleanor 8/1/2007 6:19:10 AM

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