Probability of developing PTSD following a stressful event is:
In men: 8-13%
In women: 20-30%
80-90% show remission at 9 months
About 33% will remain symptomatic for > 3 years, with an increased risk of secondary problems (NICE 2007)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children
Children show different responses to adults, depending on age and developmental stage
Younger children: generalised fears, separation anxiety, sleep disturbance, agitation and disturbed play. Younger children may lose acquired skills (i.e. toileting)
School-age children: may develop vivid memories of the stressful event and nightmares, as well as sleeping/concentration problems with physical symptoms
They may become socially withdrawn and depressed
Adolescents exhibit similar behaviour, but more likely to become impulsive and aggressive.
Consequences of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If not properly diagnosed and treated, PTSD causes substantial impairment of social, psychological and academic functioning in both adults and children.
May also cause debilitating physical symptoms – e.g. pain, GI, dermatologic and musculoskeletal disorders
If criteria for PTSD are only partially met, these patients exhibit clinically meaningful functional impairment (i.e. anxiety disorders are 2nd most common important cause of disease), and may increase risk of stroke, cancer, diabetes and depression
Estimated to have enormous personal and societal costs