EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Over 13 million people suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the U.S. and one in every 13 people will experience it once in their lifetime.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, PTSD is a disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying, shocking or dangerous event. Some of the symptoms are vivid flashbacks, nightmares, sweating or trembling, just to name a few.

“Re-living that experience, that traumatic event, and all those feelings and emotions and the way in which you felt in that time in which the traumatic event happened,” said Dr. Lisa Treviño, Vice President of DHR Health Institute for Research and Development.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said veterans are more likely to have PTSD than those who did not serve. Women are more likely to experience it than men due to traumatic events such as sexual assault.

In the lower Rio Grande Valley alone, it is estimated that over 36,000 people suffer from PTSD.  

A new DHR clinical trial hopes to lower the time it takes to get a PTSD diagnosis. The study is looking for patients who suffer from the condition or those who have experienced a traumatic event in their lifetime but have not been diagnosed. The study is three months long, and participants will be evaluated twice in the first week, and three times during the remainder of the study.

“It detects the biofeedback of a patient’s eyes. That could be rapid eye movement, the dilation or the constriction of the pupils,” said Dr. Treviño. “Patients also have their fingers in a pulse oximeter and they’ll be able to measure also, the biofeedback after seeing and being exposed to various images, increase in heart rate.”

A licensed clinical therapist and a psychiatrist will be available for the participants throughout the assessment. Patients can receive up to $275 for participating in the study.

If you would like to participate in the trial or would like more information, call (956) 362-2390.