Veteranclaims’s Blog

June 15, 2010

PTSD and Violent Behavior Related to Hyperarousal Behavior

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 7:28 pm

Full Article at: Study: Specific PTSD symptoms related to anger and aggressiveness among Iraq/Afghanistan veterans

“Eric Elbogen, PhD, [lead author of the study, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the UNC School of Medicine and a staff psychologist at the VA Medical Center in Durham, N.C.], “found that post-deployment anger and hostility were associated with PTSD hyperarousal symptoms: sleep problems, being ‘on guard,’ jumpiness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
“The data showed that PTSD symptoms such as flashbacks or avoiding reminders of a trauma were not consistently connected to aggressiveness”.

Veterans who said they had difficulty controlling violent behavior were more likely to report witnessing pre-military family violence, firing a weapon during deployment, being deployed more than 1 year, and experiencing current hyperarousal symptoms. There was an association with a history of traumatic brain injury, but it was not as robust as the relationship to hyperarousal symptoms. Elbogen said, “Our data suggest the effects of traumatic brain injury on anger and hostility are not straightforward.”

Veterans with aggressive urges were more likely than others to report hyperarousal symptoms, childhood abuse, a family history of mental illness, and reexperiencing a traumatic event. Difficulty managing anger was associated with being married, having a parent with a criminal history, and avoiding reminders of the trauma, as well as hyperarousal symptoms.

“As we learn more about risk factors and how to manage them, we’ll be helping not only the veterans but their families and society at large. Veterans with these adjustment problems should seek help through the VA so we can best serve those who have served our country” Elbogen said.

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