Aggressive behaviour, intake of alcohol or drugs may deaden or control the distress, but a study has found that veterans, engaged in risky behaviour, could worsen the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
The study also found that frequent stressful experiences could have harmful results for those with PTSD. The findings showed that veterans are at around 50 percent higher risk of suicide than civilians. They are also more frequently imprisoned for violent offences and more likely to drive recklessly. Veterans also have higher rates of binge drinking and uncontrolled gambling than their non-veteran peers.
Study's corresponding author Dr Naomi Sadeh said that individuals with PTSD, experiencing new traumatic events will often increase their symptoms and can even make them worse. So, these findings suggest that treatment providers should question trauma-exposed veterans about reckless behaviour to make sure they are not engaging in stressful behaviours that could make their PTSD symptoms worse.
Recent research has found a connection between risky behaviour and PTSD. The team analysed more than 200 veterans with PTSD diagnoses for both PTSD gravity and rash behaviour.Four years later, nearly seventy-five percent had engaged in risky or self-destructive behaviour at least once in the five years before the study.
The most common behaviours identified in this study were damaging alcohol or drug use, drunken driving, gambling and aggression. The researchers found a relationship between risky behaviour and higher PTSD severity at both time points. The results added further evidence that risky behaviour is usual among trauma-exposed veterans. Sadeh noted that these type of high-risk behaviours appear to be common among veterans, who have undergone trauma.
In the time, between the two tests, 82 percent of participants experienced at least one possibly traumatic incident. These incidents included experiencing the sudden death of a friend or loved one; being threatened with or being the victim of a physical assault; being the victim in a motor vehicle accident, or witnessing any severe accident; experiencing a life-threatening or disabling occurrence affecting a loved one, or coping with a terminal illness.
The findings imply that many veterans with PTSD continue to experience traumatic events that may extend or worsen their PTSD symptoms, even years after the initial trauma.The results were published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress.