Civilians develop PTSD at same rate as soldiers - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Civilians develop PTSD at same rate as soldiers


The story about the soldier who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a war deployment is common, but we rarely hear about the civilians.

New research shows that civilians suffer from PTSD at the same rate as soldiers.

"We've seen a number of military veterans who experience post-traumatic stress disorder," says Scott and White psychologist Dr. David Blackburn. "And they present similar symptoms along with non-veterans who experience nonmilitary traumatic events."

In Central Texas, the general population may experience traumatic events from severe weather such as tornadoes and thunderstorms. They may also experience severe accidents from the local interstate.

"To give you an example of around here, near interstate 35, it's often accident prone. Sometimes individuals have accidents a little bit out of the ordinary. That can be considered a traumatic event."

Other traumatic events that could trigger the disorder can happen within relationships, such as domestic violence or sexual assault.

Dr. Blackburn says Scott and White's location to Fort Hood helps him identify PTSD symptoms, because of his extensive work with military patients.

Researchers say people who suffer from PTSD have a distorted sense of always being under extreme pressure, causing them to lash out.

They also say they find high numbers of civilians who live in impoverished inner cities suffer from PTSD. Since inner cities deal with a high level of crime, they can be compared to a war zone.

However, even with this information, many of those hospitals do not offer PTSD screening.

The lack of funding keeps them from being able to identify and treat the general population, unless a person's PTSD is considered extreme.

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