Stress is one thing most of us face in our hectic lives. But post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) is a disease of intense mental anguish from the kind of life or death trauma faced by soldiers in combat, a car crash, serious injury, sudden death of a loved one, or sexual violence.

Trauma to this degree is frightening, overwhelming and causes a lot of distress – it is often unexpected, and many people say that they felt powerless to stop or change the event. Those emotions and loss of control take hold and won’t let go.

Post-traumatic stress disorder linked to faster aging, earlier death
Researchers at the Center on Healthy Aging and Senior Care at the University of California San Diego have revealed a link between the disorder and long-term systemic effects on a person’s basic biological process – aging.

A review of PTSD studies focused on three potential signals of faster-than-normal aging, including biological signs like shortened telomeres (the caps at the end of each DNA strand that protect the chromosomes) or markers of inflammation, higher rates of medical conditions linked to advanced age, and early death. They found medical conditions associated with advanced aging were more common in people with PTSD, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia.

Results of all the data crunching revealed that post-traumatic stress disorder increased the risk of dying by 29 percent.

70 percent of U.S. adults experience trauma at least once
Post-traumatic stress disorder in adults is more common than you think. PTSD United, a non-profit organization to support and connect people with the disorder, reports that 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. This equates to approximately 223.4 million people.

Up to 20 percent of these people go on to develop PTSD. Which means an estimated 8 percent of Americans − 24.4 million people − have PTSD at any given time. That is equal to the total population of Texas. Interesting, too, roughly one out of every nine women develops PTSD, making them about twice as likely as men.


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