National PTSD Awareness Day: PTSD increases risk of cardiovascular disease

National PTSD Awareness Day: PTSD increases risk of cardiovascular disease

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops when a person experiences a scary or shocking incident. It can also develop due to other traumatic experiences, such as the demise of a loved one. While the symptoms of PTSD usually begin to appear as early as within three months of the traumatic incident, in some cases it can take years to become visible.

Experiencing a shocking or dangerous event is difficult. At times, a person is strong enough to deal with such situations. However, sometimes he/she might find it hard to handle both the situation and its physical and mental ramifications, which in turn triggers PTSD.

The U.S. Senate declared June 27 as the National PTSD Awareness Day. To help spread awareness about PTSD and its effects on mental and physical health of an individual, the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) has designated the entire month of June as the PTSD Awareness Month.

PTSD is characterized by relentless emotional and mental stress and affects every sphere of an individual’s life, be it personal or professional. The development of PTSD can manifest itself in the form of symptoms, such as hallucinations, eating disorders, paranoia, depression, sleep issues, substance abuse, difficulty in maintaining the job and suicidal thoughts. In addition to such health consequences, PTSD is also linked to an increased risk of developing diseases like arthritis, cancer, digestive problems, and cardiovascular disease.

PTSD deteriorates heart health

According to a literature review published by the American Physiological Society (APS) in 2015, PTSD can cause overactive nerve activity, dysfunctional immune response and activation of the hormone system that controls blood pressure. The increased blood pressure, in turn, can increase the risk of heart disease.

Corroborating this observation was another review published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The review stated that people affected by PTSD have reported a higher risk of obesity, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. This increase was caused by the hyperactivity of the sympathoadrenal axis, which affected the heart, platelet function and vasculature.

Another research published by the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2010 studied the electronic records of 286,194 veterans of the Korean War. The study concluded that there was increased calcium deposit in the arteries of veterans who had been diagnosed with PTSD. This raised the risk of death from heart disease in veterans with PTSD by 41 percent as compared to non-PTSD veterans. The rate of mortality was derived after adjusting the data for age, gender and other expected risk factors.

Treatment is possible

PTSD is one of the major anxiety disorders that can be treated by seeking help from a mental health expert who can assist one with the right treatment plan that includes medications, psychotherapies or a combination of both. Seeking professional help is important as the most suitable treatment varies from person to person.

To help reduce the stigma associated with PTSD, this National PTSD Awareness Day, let’s shed our inhibitions and talk about this debilitating condition so that more and more people are able to avail assistance for it. If you or someone you know is dealing with PTSD or any other form of anxiety disorder, Sovereign Health is there to help.

Not just PTSD, Sovereign Health’s mental health facilities are among the best in the country offering depression and anxiety disorders treatments, including the generalized anxiety treatment in Los Angeles. In fact, it is one of the best among the GAD treatment centers in Los Angeles. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with one of our representatives for more information.

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