mental health assessment

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) includes physiological disorders like cardiovascular disease and sleep problems as well as mental health issues, a study finds.

The study published in the Medical Journal of Australia looking at 108 veterans found that more comorbidities were found among veterans experiencing PTSD than those without the condition.

Veterans with PTSD also experienced gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems, sleep disorders and hepatic conditions.

The symptoms of PTSD can include traumatic flashbacks, nightmares, frightening thoughts and tense feelings.

The researchers said: "The higher frequency of comorbid physical conditions suggests that PTSD be conceptualised not as a purely mental disorder, but rather as a systemic disorder.

“Integrated healthcare strategies directed at the psychological and physical health of patients with PTSD, as well as rigorous control of risk factors, are likely to improve their quality of life and their survival."