Veterans Day can be somber reminder for some

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Nov 11, 2013 1:13 PM
apache helicopter army national guard.jpg

(Danville) -- A variety of events can trigger symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It could even include Veterans Day itself for the servicemen who suffer from the anxiety disorder.

PTSD affects more than five percent of the US population. But, the rate among combat veterans can be much higher -- one 2012 study suggests figures as high as 16 percent.

Joseph Boscarino, a senior investigator for the Geisinger Center for Health Research, says any event related to the trauma that caused the disorder can trigger periods of heightened distress.

"It's associated with your experience," he explains. "So if you were in Vietnam, often times helicopters can trigger it. Or residents at the Jersey Shore get very nervous now -- because of Hurricane Sandy -- they get very nervous when it rains or gets stormy outside."

Boscarino, a Vietnam veteran, is actively researching PTSD and veteran suicide issues.

He urges returning veterans' families to watch for risky behaviors or substance abuse, which can be symptoms of the disorder.

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