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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PTSD more prevalent post 9/11?

To begin this post, I would just like to take a moment to remember those who lost someone on one of the most infamous day in history and how that event has shaped our lives today.
Since I am clinician at heart my mind began to think about how 9/11 has shaped the world of mental health specifically PTSD and so I posed a question to the Twittersphere- "Has PTSD become more prevalent post 9/11 and the beginning of the war on terror or have we become more educated since then? 

In October and November of 2001, 2,733 people across the United States found that 11.2% of New York City residents had PTSD, and 4% of U.S. residents had PTSD. Another study of 998 adults in New York City five to nine weeks after the attacks found that 7.5% had PTSD. Statistics go on and on about the effects of that day. What about overall? 

As reported by Jennifer Ferryman on her blog, "PTSD was documented in individuals who were indirectly exposed to trauma that did not directly involve a family member or other close person. 4% of individuals living outside of the attack sites who were indirectly exposed to the tragedies via television were found to have symptoms of PTSD (Zimering et al, 2006)."

Ok so it may be that there has been an increase, but what about people who experienced PTSD and it was related to abuse in India, or death in the family in Taiwan having nothing to do with 9/11?

While I have not found any data to support the increase (or decrease) in PTSD Dx, when I did research of PTSD articles from before 9/11 versus after 9/11 there was in flux of research, blogs and op-ed articles related to PTSD for survivors of all natural disasters whether it was tsunami in japan or Hurricane Katrina or military vets. One could deduce that it would be a combination of both, increase of reported cases as well as people in general becoming more knowledgeable on all things specifically medical and mental health. 

Just something to ponder...

Have a safe 9/11/12

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