Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD frequently appears after exposure to a variety of trauma, such as combat, criminal victimization, sexual assault, natural disaster and motor vehicle accidents. These types of trauma are either personally experienced, witnessed or happened to someone close.

Symptoms associated with PTSD include recurrent nightmares related to the trauma, “flashbacks” or feeling as if the trauma were occurring all over again, being constantly “on guard”, having sudden outbursts of anger, and feeling emotionally numb.

Community-based studies suggest that PTSD affects between 3-7% of the population. Studies of at-risk individuals (e.g., combat veterans or victims of criminal violence such as rape or domestic violence) have an even higher prevalence rate, ranging from 10-40%. People diagnosed with PTSD may have trouble with interpersonal relationships, job performance and other activities. Do you have it?

  • Have you been jumpy or easily startled?
  • Have you been physically upset by reminders of the event? (This includes sweating, trembling, racing heart, shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea).
  • Have you been unable to have sad or loving feelings, or have you generally felt numb?
  • Have you been irritable or had outbursts or anger?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you may have PTSD.

Is there help?

There are various medications and psychotherapy approaches that can be helpful for individuals with PTSD.

Dr. Murray Stein, at the University of California San Diego, is investigating the efficacy and safety of an experimental drug, losartan, as a treatment for individuals with PTSD. The study is also intended to determine if certain genetic markers are useful in predicting PTSD symptom reduction with losartan. Approximately 160 subjects with chronic PTSD ages 18-65 will participate in this study across five sites. Subjects will be assigned by chance to take either flexibly dosed losartan (up to a maximum dosage of 100 mg) or placebo (which resembles the study drug but has no active ingredients), once a day for 10 weeks.

For more information, please call 858-246-0623 or email [email protected].

Informational Resources

Trauma Information Pages

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)

American Psychological Association’s Trauma Division

Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma

The Leadership Council

The National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder