The relationship between somatoform disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) among patients reporting in a private hospital after the 2010 jos crisis
A traumatic, life threatening experience elicits in the individual a feeling of distress, anxiety and fear. These normal physiological responses prepare the individual to flee or fight and they soon subside after the trauma. However, in a few individuals, the emotions persist and continue to intrude in the life of the individual, leading to Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD co-occurs with a variety of other psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorder, drug abuse, and depression. After the January 17th 2010. Jos crisis, there was an increase in the number of our patients presenting with somatisation symptoms. An earlier study conducted in Nassarawa Gwom Jos showed that there is a high prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms among residents of Nassarawa Gwom. This study was conducted to explore the relationship between somatoform disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The study population was all our patients presenting with unexplained somatic complaints within the study period of four weeks. The study took place five (5) months after the mayhem. All participants gave their informed consent. All participants responded to a structured questionnaire which gave details of the respondents' demographic characteristics; assess participants' exposure to the trauma, assess PTSD in the participant and also assess the respondent for somatoform disorder. 22(29.7%) of the respondents had developed PTSD, while 36(48.6%) had somatoform disorder using the somatoform symptom index (SS14.6). Somatoform symptoms were found to be reported higher among PTSD patients, than those without PTSD. It was concluded that respondents with PTSD are at greater risk of developing somatoform disorder, and so practitioners need to screen all those presenting with somatisation disorder for PTSD to ensure a more satisfactory therapeutic outcome.