The posttraumatic stress disorder, abbreviated PTSD, is a mental disorder triggered by intense traumas. However, there are some studies that concluded that PTSD is much more than a mental disorder as it is also triggering disorders at many other levels than the mental level.
It is estimated that over 70% of the world’s population has been experiencing at least one severe psychological trauma, caused by the loss of a very dear person, a major disappointment, or so on. Much of these people suffered from a series of severe emotional reactions that actually fall into the PTSD category.
However, one of the most affected groups of people are the soldiers or those who live in never-ending combat zones.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Lack of reaction to what is happening around you manifested through avoiding any activity, losing interest in what is the world offering;
- Repeatedly reliving the initial traumatic event through unwanted reminders of the event in the form of sequences, through nightmares, and/or through exaggerated emotional or physical reactions triggered by the people or the places related to the event;
- Sleep disturbances;
- Difficulty of concentration;
- Irritability or fit of madness;
Usually, all these symptoms are accompanied by, or may eventually lead to alcohol abuse, drugs use, panic attacks, isolation, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and so on.
The PTSD is much more than a mental disorder
Data from the Veterans Administration Normative Aging Study was gathered by researchers at the Harvard University and Boston University. The study’s authors observed that those veterans suffering from PTSD are more prone to smoking and alcohol abuse than those who are not ill. Therefore, the risks of other serious illnesses development are higher in those with PTSD.
Another research showed that veterans with PTSD are also suffering from arthritis and psoriasis. The scientists concluded that the PTSD patients are more prone to develop autoimmune disorders than healthy people.
The most recent study was conducted by the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco. According to this one, veterans suffering from PTSD presented shorter telomeres in comparison to healthy people. As the telomeres are proteins complexes protecting the chromosomes against mutations, the scientists were able to conclude that patients with PTSD are presenting a higher risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmune diseases.