People of all ages can have post-traumatic stress disorder. However, some factors may make you more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event, including:
- Being female
- Experiencing intense or long-lasting trauma
- Having experienced other trauma earlier in life
- Having other mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression
- Lacking a good support system of family and friends
- Having first-degree relatives with mental health problems, including PTSD
- Having first-degree relatives with depression
- Having been abused or neglected as a child
Women may be at increased risk of PTSD because they are more likely to experience the kinds of trauma that can trigger the condition.
Kinds of traumatic events
Post-traumatic stress disorder is especially common among those who have served in combat. It's sometimes called "shell shock," "battle fatigue" or "combat stress."
The most common events leading to the development of PTSD include:
- Combat exposure
- Childhood neglect and physical abuse
- Sexual molestation
- Physical attack
- Being threatened with a weapon
But many other traumatic events also can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, including fire, natural disaster, mugging, robbery, assault, civil conflict, car accident, plane crash, torture, kidnapping, life-threatening medical diagnosis, terrorist attack and other extreme or life-threatening events.
Apr. 08, 2011
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