POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER: A FREQUENT WORK-RELATED ILLNESS

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that results from exposure to a traumatic event, and is characterized by hypermnesia of the traumatic event with fre-quent re-experiencing of the tragic occurrence, hyperarousal, and avoidance behaviour. Depression, anxiety, sleep dysfunction and substance abuse are also commonly reported. PTSD is highly prevalent both in the general population and in certain occupations that are particularly exposed to life-threatening situations, physically and psychological de-manding activities, and physical assault, such as rescue workers, firefighters and para-medics. Recent advances in the comprehension of the epidemiology, physiopathology and clinical presentation of PTSD could push toward increased identification of this com-mon psychiatric disorder with significant reflections on the chances of successful treat-ment.

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