You can develop post-traumatic stress disorder when you go through, see or learn about an event that causes intense fear, helplessness or horror.
Doctors aren't sure why some people get post-traumatic stress disorder. As with most mental health problems, PTSD is probably caused by a complex mix of:
Apr. 08, 2011
- Your inherited mental health risks, such as an increased risk of anxiety and depression
- Your life experiences, including the amount and severity of trauma you've gone through since early childhood
- The 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
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- Shalev AY. Posttraumatic stress disorder and stress-related disorders. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2009;32:687.
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- May AC, et al. Posttraumatic stress disorder In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00025-1--sc30645&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00025-1--sc30645&uniqId=230982534-3. Accessed Jan. 5, 2011.
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- Understanding PTSD. National Center for PTSD. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/understanding_ptsd/booklet.pdf. Accessed Jan. 5, 2011.
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- Acupuncture may help symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/092107.htm. Accessed Jan. 5, 2011.
- Coping with traumatic stress reactions. National Center for PTSD. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/coping-traumatic-stress.asp. Accessed Jan. 12, 2011.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 11, 2011.