Whether it be from movies such as The Best Years of Our Lives, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, or others, or from personally knowing someone or even just watching the news, most Americans are at least somewhat familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While PTSD was first brought to the public’s attention by war veterans returning home from combat, it can effect anyone and can be triggered by things such as being a victim of a crime, car accident, natural disaster, etc… In 2009, the National Institute for Health estimated that around 7.7 million American adults suffer from PTSD. Due to the nature of combat, PTSD is more common in the military and in 2009 the Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that 31% of Vietnam Veterans, 10% of Desert Storm veterans, 11% of veterans of the war in Afghanistan, and 20% of Iraqi war veterans suffer from PTSD.
With so many Americans impacted by PTSD, it isn’t surprising that a lot of research has been done on the disease and while progress has been made, we still have a long way to go in order to understand what causes PTSD and how to treat and cure it. Fortunately researchers at Ohio State’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research and the Department of Neuroscience are on the case and have made important progress in understand what may trigger some PTSD behavior.