Soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan are being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, at alarming rates. But doctors in inner-city emergency rooms say they’re seeing similar rates among victims of neighborhood violence and other physical trauma.
Dr. Jerry Jurkovich, head of surgery and trauma services at Denver Health, noticed his patients were showing up at the hospital with classic signs of PTSD, such as insomnia, hyper-agitation and flashbacks. So Jurkovich and his colleagues decided to research the prevalence of PTSD in hospital trauma centers.
“We thought, if people are suffering this after coming back from a war overseas, they [might] be suffering it from the violence that they see in our everyday lives,” Jurkovich says.