OSLO, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- A new study has shown that 55,000 Norwegians are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), newspaper Aftenposten reported Tuesday.
This corresponds to almost the whole number of Norwegians born in one year, according to a study by SINTEF, an independent research organization in Norway.
There are around 2,400 new cases of PTSD sufferers per year. Those suffering have experienced such events accidents, rape, threats, sexual abuse, natural disasters, and violence, which are referred to as traumas.
The traumas can lead to PTSD, whose symptoms include intrusive memories and nightmares, numbness, reduced reactions to the environment, lack of joy or pleasure, distancing from others, and avoidance of situations reminiscent of the trauma.
SINTEF researcher Eva Lassemo was one of the scientists who conducted the study, which was the first population study on PTSD in Norway.
"The study has shown that Norway has, in the course of time, had an accumulation of PTSD-affected people. In addition to the new cases every year, there is a big number of those who have had this problem from before, without getting rid of it," Lassemo told Aftenposten.
Out of 1,634 interviewed people, women have struggled with the symptoms for nine years on average and men for 17 years. The new analyses have shown that the danger of developing PTSD is most acute if the terrifying action purposefully targeted the victim.
"The answers show clearly that people are not equally vulnerable when exposed to something that happens randomly," Lassemo said.
The study is featured in the magazine Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology and the research was conducted by researchers from the University of Tromso, Cancer Registry, and the Nordland hospital.