Trauma, PTSD and Health Problems


“Recent studies have found that health problems, disability, and suicidal behavior were more common in men and women with PTSD [Posttraumatic Stress Disorder] than were found in their counterparts without PTSD….

“Even after adjusting for demographic factors and other mental illnesses, participants with PTSD had significantly higher levels of cardiovascular disease (hypertension and heart disease), respiratory diseases (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), chronic pain syndromes (fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine), gastrointestinal illnesses (ulcerative colitis and ulcers), and cancer.  PTSD was strongly associated with chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple-chemical sensitivity….

“PTSD was also associated with suicide attempts, poor quality of life, and short- and long-term disability.  The authors concluded that these effects were above and beyond the effects of depression or other mental disorders and were the unique contribution of PTSD.”


From: Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., Inflammation and traumatic stress: A likely mechanism for chronic illness in trauma survivors.  Trauma Psychology Newsletter, Div. 56, APA, Spring/Summer, 3(2), pp. 12-13.  Regarding: Sareen, J., Cox, B.J., Stein, M.B., Afifi, T.O. Fleet, C., & Asmundson, G.J. (2007).  Physical and mental comorbidity, disability, and suicidal behavior associated with posttraumatic stress disorder in a large community sample.  Psychosomatic Medicine, 69 (3), 242-248.


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