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US planners suffered PTSD post-GFC

Ninety-three per cent of US financial planners and advisers suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the 2008 global financial crisis, a new study has found.

The study, published in the American Journal of Financial Therapy, found that “nearly every single financial professional interviewed as part of the research reported medium to high levels of post-traumatic stress”, while 40 per cent reported “severe symptoms”.

A lot of these financial planners I worked with couldn’t sleep at night,” said Brad Klontz, an associate professor at Kansas State University and co-author of the study.

“They shoulder a great deal of the financial and emotional responsibility when they manage client assets.”

The study also found that many financial planners took greater risks during the height of the crisis, which in some cases exacerbated the symptoms of the disorder.

E. David Klonsky, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia said this greater risk appetite may have in fact been used in some cases as a form of self-medication.

“Risky behaviours like substance use, aggression and thrill-seeking can sometimes provide temporary relief [of PTSD symptoms],” he said in a statement accompanying the release of the study's findings.