Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety condition that can affect someone after he or she has had a very stressful or frightening experience. Many times, this will involve a threat to the person’s life.
PTSD causes people to experience extreme fear and anxiety after the traumatic event has ended. This can mean recurring nightmares, insomnia, irritability, and flashbacks of the trauma. These symptoms persist for longer than six months in a person who has PTSD.
PTSD is a serious problem for many people who serve or have served in the military. The transition from a constant state of danger to relative safety after returning home can be difficult to adjust to. Many find themselves struggling to come to terms with everything they saw and experienced while on duty.
A new vaccine is being proposed to help soldiers who are at risk for developing PTSD. The vaccine targets a hormone in the body, ghrelin, which may affect levels of fear in people who have to face fear-inducing situations such as combat. By controlling ghrelin levels with a shot, researchers hope that they can keep people who are in war from feeling excessive fear and terror which can later lead to PTSD.
While the idea of soldiers who do not feel a normal amount of fear does raise some ethical questions, the vaccine has the potential to help some people who might otherwise go on to develop PTSD from their war experiences.
For more information about the vaccine, click here: