Wildfires Link to Post Traumatic Stress

(Denver-AP) -- One out of every ten Colorado resident forced to flee this summer's wildfires might soon suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms include chills, heart palpitations, panic and reliving the event through recurring nightmares. Sufferers may avoid reminders of the event or withdraw from friends and family and lose interest in everyday activities. Some can become irritable or angry and have trouble sleeping.

Charles C. Benight is director of the clinical training program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs psychology department. He says about ten percent of evacuees will have non-clinical levels of distress, meaning there will be no long-term psychological problems.

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