Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an issue that manypeople do not understand or even know much about. The symptoms aredifficult to recognize because they mimic other disorders and maynot appear until weeks or months after an incident. But for thosewho suffer from it, the pain is very real.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH),PTSD is usually triggered by a traumatic or dangerous event. Wefrequently hear about soldiers who are diagnosed with it when theyreturn home after serving in an armed conflict and seeing theircomrades killed or maimed, or being injured themselves.

More recent events that would impact insurers involve home andbusiness owners affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria andNate; the wildfires in California; or more horrifically, theshootings in Nevada, Maryland, Texas and California.

Who is likely to be affected?

PTSD presents differently in each person. Not everyone whowitnesses or is involved in a traumatic event develops PTSD. In theU.S., 60% of men and 50% of women will experience a traumatic eventin their lifetime says Teresa Bartlett, M.D., senior vice presidentof medical quality for Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. Ofthose individuals, 8% of the men and 20% of the women will developPTSD.

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Patricia L. Harman

Patricia L. Harman is the editor-in-chief of Claims magazine, a contributing editor to, and chairs the annual America's Claims Event (ACE), which focuses on providing claims professionals with cutting-edge education and networking opportunities. She covers auto, property & casualty, workers' compensation, fraud, risk and cybersecurity, and is a frequent speaker at insurance industry events. Contact her at [email protected]