Treating post-traumatic stress disorder



The physiology of a person with PTSD differs from someone without. Understanding how the disorder works could lead to more effective treatments.

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Around 1 in 2 people will go through a traumatic experience at some point in their lives. For around 1 in 6 the symptoms of trauma will barely fade. PTSD is one of the most common mental disorders. PTSD is most closely associated with soldiers.

Once known as “shell shock” or “battle fatigue”, it was not until the Vietnam veterans returned from the war that the disorder was truly taken seriously. 25% of American Vietnam veterans have had PTSD. 1 in 5 soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were diagnosed with PTSD.

But combat is not the most common cause of PTSD. People living in poor, violent places are at severe risk of developing the disorder. Worldwide, women are twice as likely to suffer PTSD as men. Women are at greater risk of domestic and sexual assault – both are particularly likely to cause post traumatic stress disorder.

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