Healthy Living

PTSD Patients Are More Likely to Develop Lupus, Study Suggests

PTSD Patients Are More Likely to Develop Lupus, Study Suggests

According to a new study, struggling PTSD patients (as well as those who are dealing with trauma) apparently have more to worry about. It has been discovered that they are also more likely to develop lupus as a result of their current difficulties. The study in question revealed that, after experiencing traumatic situations, an individual is more likely to develop lupus somewhere down the line. Furthermore, those that suffer from PTSD have been discovered to be 3 times more likely to develop the systemic and chronic illness. This new discovery adds to the stress already experienced by trauma patients around the world, and serves as a wake-up call for those who have not yet sought out treatment for their condition.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder belonging to the trauma and stress-related disorders category of the DSM-V. It is characterized by the appearance in the patient of specific symptoms, after being exposed to stressful and traumatic events, which may or may not involve physical harm, and that are always perceived as extremely threatening or catastrophic to the individual in question. PTSD can be developed shortly after being exposed to one or more traumatic situations of varying natures, such as the events witnessed by a soldier in the battlefield, torture during hostage situations, death threats, or even sexual harassment in the office. PTSD can usually come to light after a specific group of symptoms, such as disturbing memories, repression of experienced events, and refusal to discuss the topic give way to flashbacks or retrospective remembrances in the mind of the person that witnessed the events in question. For these reasons, war veterans are more likely to develop PTSD.

In other words, PTSD is created from an event witnessed far into the patient’s past, which provided such a huge surge of excitement that creating escape routes to said events was rendered impossible as a result. Consequently, the psyche, upon being exposed to such a large source of excitement which it couldn’t discharge in a healthy manner, loses control of the situation and generates pathological and long-lasting effects in the person as a result. One could say that PTSD is a severe and dysfunctional emotional response to extreme psychological duress, which puts the subject’s psychological or physical integrity at risk in a way that can’t be assimilated by his or her mental defenses.

On top of their difficulties as PTSD patients (whom, by nature, have already been exposed to severely traumatic events), these individuals have a new issue to look out for. A study conducted by Dr. Andrea Roberts, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA, and published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, discovered that the exposure to traumatic or shocking events (not necessarily PTSD) increased the risk of developing lupus.