By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that about eight million adults have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during a given year, and about seven to eight percent of the general population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. At the same time, public misconceptions about this condition are still common.
Here are four facts about PTSD, tabulated by Bustle.com and other sources, that should help clear up some common misconceptions about the disease:
- PTSD has a lot of different causes. While the disease was first popularized after doctors noticed its symptoms in Vietnam veterans and added it to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980, it can be caused by events such as sexual assault, domestic violence, physical abuse, natural disasters and car accidents.
- Three symptom categories define PTSD. Typical PTSD diagnosis comes when an individual experiences each of these three symptom categories for at least a month: a) Re-experiencing, which covers symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares or feelings of uncommon distress when reminded of the trauma; b) Avoidance, including inability to connect with people, avoidance of activity that could remind you of the trauma or memory gaps regarding the trauma; and c) Hyperarousal, symptoms of which include extreme anxiety or agitation, severely disrupted sleep and constant hypervigilance.
- People with PTSD are prone to developing other illnesses. It’s extremely common for PTSD sufferers to develop other illnesses such as depression and alcohol or substance use disorders. According to PsychCentral.com, nearly half of those diagnosed with PTSD were also diagnosable with depression. Another common linkage in civilian PTSD is with eating disorders. Psychology Today says that an eating disorder can restore the perception of control to what those afflicted with PTSD feel is an out-of-control life.
- Due to increasing public health concern, studies are taking place to learn how the condition, especially military-related PTSD, can be treated with drugs.Those who were in the military and think they may be affected by PTSD should consider speaking to their doctor about the latest clinical research study involving an investigational new drug as a treatment for PTSD, the AtEase Study. To protect the subjects’ identities and confidential medical information, the study organizers have obtained a Certificate of Confidentiality from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to ensure their identities are shielded from all persons not connected with this clinical research project.
To see if they pre-qualify to participate in this research study, the study website can be accessed at AtEaseStudy.com, where those interested can learn more about it. The AtEase study is open to veterans or those currently serving in law enforcement, the Armed Forces or as a military contractor. Those serving in the Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service and Border Patrol are also eligible for this research study.
Currently there are no satisfactory approved drug treatments for military-related PTSD. The investigational new drug used in the AtEase study represents a new approach to treating the condition. While symptoms of PTSD may improve or worsen while taking part in this study, participation will provide information about the study drug, a new approach to treating PTSD that might benefit others with the condition in the future.