You can develop post-traumatic stress disorder when you go through, see or learn about an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation.
Doctors aren't sure why some people get PTSD. As with most mental health problems, PTSD is probably caused by a complex mix of:
April 15, 2014
- Inherited mental health risks, such as an increased risk of anxiety and depression
- Life experiences, including the amount and severity of trauma you've gone through since early childhood
- Inherited aspects of your personality — often called your temperament
- The way your brain regulates the chemicals and hormones your body releases in response to stress
- Posttraumatic stress disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Nov. 5, 2013.
- Highlights of changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/changes%20from%20dsm-iv-tr%20to%20dsm-5.pdf. Accessed Oct. 8, 2013.
- Stress disorders. Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric_disorders/anxiety_disorders/stress_disorders.html?qt=PTSD&alt=sh. Accessed Nov. 5, 2013.
- What is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? National Alliance on Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=posttraumatic_stress_disorder. Accessed Nov. 5, 2013.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml. Accessed Nov. 5, 2013.
- Stein MB. Pharmacotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. http//www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 5, 2013.
- Rothbaum BO. Psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. http//www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 5, 2013.
- Helping a family member who has PTSD. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/helping-family-member.asp. Accessed Nov. 9, 2013.
- Lifestyle changes recommended for PTSD patients. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/coping-ptsd-lifestyle-changes.asp. Accessed Nov. 9, 2013.
- PTSD overview. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/fslist-ptsd-overview.asp. Accessed Nov. 9, 2013.
- Depression. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/index.shtml. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Lineberry TW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 30, 2013.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed Jan. 8, 2014.