There are a lot of things that people legitimately worry about these days, may they be related to work, health, or even safety. But dwelling on these anxieties do nothing but magnify them, as a study on Huffington Post explains that getting overly worked up and neurotic may increase your risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that usually occurs after facing life-threatening situations that may have caused physical injury and psychological trauma to oneself or to a loved one. Symptoms include sudden flashbacks, nightmares or night terrors, feelings of avoidance, numbness and detachment from present situations, and hypervigilance.

Researchers from Michigan State University led by Professor Naomi Breslau worked with 1,000 volunteers who were monitored for 10 years. Levels of neuroticism, which is characterized by moodiness, anxiety, and worry, were assessed with a survey given at the beginning of the study. The volunteers were then given follow-up evaluations after three, five, and 10 years.

The results showed that half of the participants experienced trauma within the study period, and five percent had developed PTSD. These people had higher levels of neuroticism based on the surveys.

"So the question is, 'What's the difference between those who develop PTSD and the majority who don't,'" Breslau explains. "This paper says people who are habitually anxious are more vulnerable. It's an important risk factor."

In order to avoid neuroticism and lower the chances of PTSD, it's important to learn how to relax and to be in the moment. Throw the negativity out and do your best to look at the brighter side of things. However, during times of real trauma, it's best to ask support from family and friends, as well as help from a professional who can assist you in processing your experience. The healing may take time, but at least you know that you're not alone.

(Photo by spaceodissey via Flickr Creative Commons)

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