The Causes of PTSD
Before delving deeper into PTSD symptoms and triggers, let’s first deepen our knowledge of the possible causes. As mentioned, a person may experience PTSD after he or she witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. Generally, the event made the person feel frightened, stressed, or distressed. The events that might cause PTSD are:
- Serious accidents
- Sexual or physical assault
- Experiences in childbirth; one good example is losing a child
- Abuse; like what happens in a domestic or childhood abuse
- Death of a loved one
- Traumatic events at work or home
- Serious medical condition, like being confined in the ICU
Please note that there’s still no definite explanation as to why some people experience PTSD while others don’t. Some experts say that PTSD happens as a part of a survival mechanism. For instance, a vivid flashback will give better details about the trauma which will prepare the person more should the same traumatic event happen again. Other studies show that PTSD may be linked to an increase in the level of the stress hormone, adrenaline.
While there’s still no definite scientific explanation, there are some risk factors that make people more vulnerable to PTSD.
Since PTSD symptoms and triggers are highly connected to the risk factors, we must discuss them, too. Generally, people of all ages who suffered from a traumatic event are at risk, but the following factors raise that risk:
- Being a war veteran, as they have been exposed to large-scale, violent conflict.
- Gender; according to experts, women are more likely to experience PTSD than men.
- Knowing someone who experienced trauma may also predispose a person to have PTSD.
- Lack of social support. The presence support network can tone down the effects of stress. This will make people less vulnerable to PTSD.
- Substance abuse may also raise the risk as it impedes a person’s ability to cope with a traumatic event.
- Genetics may also play a role, as people with a family history of depression tend to be more susceptible to PTSD.