Unemployment Biggest Predictor of PTSD Symptom Severity

 – May 7, 2014  –– 

Severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms appears to be linked to the likelihood of not having a job, according to a new study, which showed that almost two thirds of PTSD patients were unemployed. "What this analysis showed was that it was specifically the severity of PTSD symptoms, meaning recurrent memories or re-experiences of the trauma, or going to great lengths to avoid reminders of the trauma ― those types of core PTSD symptoms ― that were related to unemployment, more than, for example, depression," said study investigator James W. Murrough, MD, principal investigator of the study, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Sarah Horn, PhD, Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, reported that when the Center for New American Security in Washington, DC, asked personnel at 69 leading companies how they felt about hiring veterans, 61 percent said that they were uncertain about the safety of bringing onboard someone who has PTSD.

-Dr. James W. Murrough, Associate Professor, Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

-Dr. Sarah Horn, Clinical Research Coordinator, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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