Recent studies have shown that post-traumatic stress disorder, which is also known as PTSD, could have a link to accelerated aging. PTSD has been also linked with depression, sleep disorders, drug problems, anger, and even anorexia and bulimia in the past. PTSD has never before been related to aging until now.
The Health Site stated that a team working in psychiatry, at The University of California, revealed that they found 64 studies that show a link between PTSD and premature aging. The team did not say whether or not the aging is focused on the disorder primarily, but they did say that the disorder should be considered to be more than just a mental illness. It fits into a broader category than just that.
The studies did show that people with PTSD had telomeres with a shorter length. Telomeres are a type of protective cap for chromosomes. Older individuals typically have shorter telomeres, so the fact that these individuals with the disorder are exhibiting signs of aging shows that there must be a link of some kind (according to Science Daily). The findings from the studies are making healthcare workers and researchers want to look further into to this matter, to see what else they can find. The Health Site stated that the best way to help these individuals is to obtain more information, so that they know what they are dealing with. They do know that this does not confirm that the disorder causes accelerated aging positively, they just know that there is a definite link between the two.
The studies also found a link between PTSD and age related diseases. These diseases include diabetes, dementia, heart disease, inflammation, and even ulcers according to US News. The disorder has also been tied to premature death. It affects people who have been through a major trauma of some sort. The trauma victims may include war veterans, victims of sexual abuse or other abuse, natural disaster survivors, or even people who have faced a devastating loss of some kind. This disorder can have long term effects and impact not just the mind, but the body as well. It is a serious disorder, according to Discovery News, and it can affect a great many people.
People with the disorder need help to understand their feelings and what is going on with them. They may have difficulty dealing with their overwhelming emotions, and need a support system to rely on. The person with PTSD needs to take care of their mind and their body as well, without one compromising the other. This disorder has been linked to so many diseases and health issues over the years that keeping it under control is vital.
PTSD may not directly lead to aging, or at least it has not been positively proven to, but there is definitely a link between the two. Research has shown a tie between individuals with PTSD and accelerated aging. Efforts are being made to continue this research, in order that more answers may come to light. Researchers are hoping that they will learn more about aging and PTSD, so that they can better understand the connection.
By Heather Granruth
Photo By Mark Warner – Creativecommons Flickr License