Decades of violence and strife have led the citizens of Northern Ireland to have the highest levels of PTSD in the world, according to a newly released study carried out by psychologists from University of Ulster and trauma treatment experts from Omagh. (Both the University of Ulster and the city of Omagh are in Northern Ireland.)
The study actually examines the economic cost of PTSD -- it's called "The Economic Impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Northern Ireland" -- and it says that PTSD costs the country close to £175 million (about $275 million ) a year. That includes both direct costs (e.g., medical costs) and indirect costs such as productivity loss.
According to the research, 8.8% of the adults in Northern Ireland have met the criteria for PTSD at some point in their lifetimes. (Worldwide rates, in at least one previous study, have been cited at 7.8%.)
University of Ulster press release, BBC, Belfast Telegraph