Ptsd can surface up to 2 years after trauma

Ptsd can surface up to 2 years after trauma

While a person may not seem emotionally or psychologically troubled in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can surface up to two years following an event for those with pre-existing emotional or social problems.

That is the main conclusion of new Geisinger-led research that examined the onset and development of PTSD. The study appears in the electronic edition of the research journal Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Researchers have long-believed that signs of PTSD occur shortly after a traumatic event. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, sleeping and memory problems, and unexplained family or work difficulties.

Yet the new research by Geisinger Center for Health Research senior investigator Joseph Dr. Boscarino, Ph.D., finds that some people can experience PTSD up to two years after the original trauma.

The findings have long-term implications for today's returning military veterans, Dr. Boscarino said.

"More than 5 million members of the military have served in the Persian Gulf conflicts," Dr. Boscarino said. "This country needs to be prepared to deal with veterans who could be experiencing war-related mental health stress years after combat."

The study found that people with delayed PTSD onset were more likely to have lower self-esteem, have experienced previous negative life events and suffered past traumas.

"PTSD onset … is complex and appears to be related to exposure, individual predispositions, and external factors not directly related to the original traumatic event," the authors wrote.

About the Study

Co-authored by Kent State University social psychologist Richard E. Adams, Ph.D., the study was based on interviews of several thousand New York City residents after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Some of the key findings:

-- Four percent of those surveyed had delayed onset of PTSD;

-- Women were more likely to experience PTSD than men;

-- Having depression before the event was also a significant risk factor for PTSD.

Grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and Pennsylvania Department of Health supported the research.

About Geisinger Health System

Founded in 1915, Geisinger Health System is one of the nations largest integrated health services organizations. Serving more than 2.6 million residents throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania, the physician-led organization is a nationally recognized leader in the use of electronic health records, patient access and engagement in their healthcare, and in medical education for the next generation. Geisinger is comprised of three medical center campuses, a 740-member group practice, a not-for-profit health insurance company and research that extends across our large system- all dedicated to creating new models for scientific discovery, quality patient care, and successful clinical outcomes. Geisinger's Weis Center, Center for Health Research and Center for Clinical Studies include basic science, population-based and clinical trials research, complemented by collaborative relationships with top academic centers. Geisinger Ventures, the system's for profit entrepreneurial arm, seeks and promotes opportunities to speed the delivery of medical innovation to benefit patients.

Source: Geisinger Health System

PTSD Symptoms And Signs (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

Section Issues On Medicine: Psychiatry