Worriers Are More Prone To Developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

According to new research by investigators from Michigan State University, people who are chronic or habitual worriers are at a higher risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder compared to those who are not.

The experience of a traumatic event, which can range from losing a loved one to witnessing a violent episode, occurs to virtually everyone in his or her lifetime at least once. But very few people will go on to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The issue becomes one of determining the difference between those who do and those who do not, which the current research attempts to address. And according to its findings, one of the risk factors for developing PTSD following a traumatic event is if that person is somebody who already experiences anxiety on a chronic basis.

Why This Study Is Important

This finding comes from the data collected from a 10-year study of 1,000 people in southeast Michigan, with follow-ups at three years, five years and 10 years.

The key to this study is that people were randomly selected before they experienced a traumatic event, giving investigators something of a baseline and making the study a prospective one, versus the usual in published research like this-a retrospective one, in which case it would never be fully clear which came first--the chronic anxiety or the traumatic event.

The study was published in the journal Psychological Medicine, and researchers believe it can be useful for physicians to acknowledge patients at high risk and be able to have an appropriate response when they learn they have undergone any such traumatic experience.

Source: MNT
Photo: Pixabay

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