Socio-demographic Profile and Psychiatric Comorbidity in Patients with a Diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – A study from Kashmir Valley
Objective: Kashmir valley has witnessed an armed conflict from last three decades, with one of the studies suggesting the prevalence of trauma exposure of 58.69% in the general population and 15.9% prevalence of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The current study was undertaken to explore the socio demographic profile and psychiatric comorbidity in treatment seeking PTSD patients.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital Srinagar, Kashmir from January 2006 to January 2007. A total of 100 PTSD patients were interviewed and screened for psychiatric comorbidity using DSM-IV diagnostic criteria and their socio demographic details were recorded using a proforma.
Results: Most of the patients in our study had multiple comorbidities. Apart from depression and anxiety disorders, somatisation and peri-traumatic dissociation was highly comorbid.
Conclusion: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a complex diagnosis with commonly associated psychiatric comorbidity. The high comorbidity in our study sample could be due to repeated exposure to trauma, cultural expression of distress and the ongoing conflict situation which makes the recovery difficult. Recognizing the comorbidities early on may help to achieve an optimal treatment outcome. Finally, the lack of appropriate service provision results in increased morbidity and probable chronicity of the symptoms.