According to a Canadian study PTSD is “associated with several physical health problems including cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, chronic pain conditions, gastrointestinal illness and cancer” (2007). It is important to recognize that experiences of trauma can have negative effects on a person’s health; regardless of a diagnosis of PTSD. ¬†Physical impacts include:

  • Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Depression
  • Fetal death
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Illicit drug use
  • Ischemic heart disease (IHD)
  • Liver disease
  • Risk for intimate partner violence
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Smoking
  • Suicide attempts
  • Unintended pregnancies
  • Early initiation of smoking
  • Early initiation of sexual activity
  • Adolescent pregnancy

"Everyone has a right to have a present and future that are not completely dominated and dictated by the past" - Karen Saakvitne