Heart Attack May Lead to PTSD

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The biggest fear with psychological ailments is that they are triggered or aggravated by events, both of smaller or higher magnitude. Hence, it is common for anxiety or panic ridden people to develop a fear for even their daily activities. Now, a new study reveals that those who suffer a heart attack are at a greater risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As disheartening as it may sound, the scientists believe that the danger is real.

While heart attacks are by themselves traumatic and agonizing, for the person to develop symptoms for PTSD post a stroke can lead to a severe emotional pain. The research about it had been ongoing for quite a few years now but a meaningful conclusion had so far been elusive but it is now estimated that 1 out of 8 patients who suffer from the emotional stress of a heart attack stand at a higher risk of developing a full-blown PTSD. The study also figured that the symptoms were more prominent in war veterans, people who had a family history of strokes, and who had undergone some sort of violence and other abuses in their life. More often than not, they are conscious and fearful of even the smallest discomforts that their bodies go through.

Studies conducted at the Columbia University Medical Center published under the online Journal PLoS One combined the tests conducted on 2383 patients and concluded that while patients who developed PTSD after a heart attack were more prone to death in the event of a second attack than those who did not have PTSD but were otherwise heart patients.

It does help a great deal if the symptoms are known which is why the journal also lists the importance of recognizing the symptoms  which commonly are sleep deprivation, nightmares, disturbing thoughts, and sweating. It strongly recommends that when such symptoms manifest, consult a physician immediately so that preventive measures can be taken.

Another interesting revelation that has surprised many is that while middle-aged persons who suffered an attack were less susceptible to suffer from PTSD than younger men and women who suffered an attack and subsequently, feared more about losing their life. So in such cases, effective counseling plays a very crucial role.

The treatment must mainly involve medication, anti-depressants, behavioral therapy, and of course counseling. The research emphasizes on the need to focus more on post-stroke clinical therapy so that the fears of patients can be allayed and a healthy future be envisaged for them.

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