PTSD is caused by external, traumatic stress. Symptoms of this very difficult disorder include depression, insomnia, anger, eating disorders and substance abuse.
But now a recent study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry has linked PTSD to an acceleration of the aging process. The study was led by Dr. Dilip V. Jeste of the University of California, San Diego, and resulted in evidence of reduced telomere length in patients with PTSD. Telomeres, compound structures at the end of chromosomes, shorten as people age.
Researchers also found that patients suffering from PTSD may face premature mortality; meaning an increased chance of an earlier death.
These findings show the need for further research into the mental illnesses that affect millions of Americans.
The National Center for PTSD offers further information and resources surrounding the disorder. The US Department of Veterans affairs provides a 24/7 hotline for anyone experiencing a crisis at: 1-800-273-8255.