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PTSD linked with high risk of dementia

PTSD linked with high risk of dementia – Causes and ways to manage the disorder&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspiStock Images

Key Highlights

Mental health issues are a widespread challenge in the current scenario

PTSD has recently been found to have links with brain disorders such as dementia

Know the causes and management of the mental health disorder

New Delhi: Mental health issues have become very common during the COVID-19 pandemic, owing to the stress, loneliness, loss of jobs, and uncertainty of life, among many other reasons. The mental health of patients who are suffering and eventually recovering from the disease is also a matter of concern, since the stress of isolation and being sick from a virus everyone is dreading could be too much to handle, and give rise to mental health issues such as depression, and even PTSD.

PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a mental health disorder characterised by flashbacks of the traumatic event, anxiety and nightmares. PTSD can interfere with your daily life, and cause disruption in personal, professional, and private life.

PTSD may double the risk of dementia – Study

A new study has now found that people who suffer from PTSD are twice as likely to have dementia in their lives. The study is also important when looked in the context of the current pandemic. According to the researchers of the study, the disorder can have serious implications for brain health, as found by the study conducted by them. 

“PTSD, which appears to be common among people who have been hospitalized with Covid-19, remains an underdiagnosed, undertreated, and under-researched mental health condition, yet it can have serious long-term consequences,” said senior author Vasiliki Orgeta, an associate professor in the division of psychiatry at University College London.
“Our study provides important new evidence of how traumatic experiences can impact brain health, and how the long-term effects of trauma may impact the brain in many ways increasing vulnerability to cognitive decline and dementia,” Orgeta said.
Stress has often been linked with many physical health issues recently, which include heart health, diabetes, obesity, and now dementia. 

The causes and management of PTSD

Anyone and everyone who experiences any traumatic event in their life can develop Post-traumatic stress disorder of PTSD. Examples of traumatic events include –

Witnessing a war
Physical or sexual assault
An accident
Abuse – mental or physical;
Serious health problems 
Life-altering negative events
Loss of a loved one
Loss of a baby
Torture
It is still unclear why some people who experience one or more of the above events may or may not develop PTSD. However, your risk of developing the mental health issue increases if you have previously had symptoms of depression or anxiety. Having a family history of mental health issues can also increase your risk.

Management of PTSD and its symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks to the traumatic event, followed by anxiety, negative changes in mood at the mention of it, and avoiding to talk about it, among others.

Living with PTSD can be very difficult, but there are effective ways to manage the condition. Therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, and medications, are two of the most commonly used ways to manage PTSD.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

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