Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Coexisting Psychiatric Problems Common in Veterans with PTSD

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Coexisting Psychiatric Problems Common in Veterans with PTSD

Article excerpt

SAN DIEGO -- More than 90% of Vietnam War veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder have a coexisting psychiatric disorder, Chandresh Shah, M.D., reported during a poster session at the American Psychiatric Association's Institute on Psychiatric Services.

The finding underscores the need to consider other psychiatric comorbidities when screening and treating patients for PTSD, including veterans of the current war.

"At one point over time in their lives these patients will come down with depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, psychosis, or drug and alcohol problems," Dr. Shah, assistant chief of psychiatry at the Los Angeles Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic, said in an interview. "Very often PTSD may not exhibit itself as PTSD on day 1.... It may come across just as a drug and alcohol problem. But as the time goes by, I think the whole symptomatology would evolve into a classical PTSD," he said.

He and his associates reviewed the medical records of 293 Vietnam War veterans with PTSD who had been in treatment at the clinic for at least 180 days. …

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