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PTSD Risk Factors

Risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD. Keep in mind that anyone can develop PTSD at any age. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 7 to 8% out of people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and genes may make some people more likely to develop PTSD than others. However, people who develop PTSD should be not considered weak or defective in anyway because the main factor that determines whether or not someone will develop PTSD is the type of and frequency of exposure to a traumatic event. In fact, this is the only mental health condition where the cause is very clear.

Risk factors for PTSD include:

  • Living through dangerous events and traumas
  • Getting hurt
  • Seeing another person hurt, or seeing a dead body
  • Childhood trauma
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
  • Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse

It’s important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder. Many factors play a part in whether a person will develop PTSD.

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