The prerequisite of PTSD is for a person to have experienced or witnessed an exceptionally stressful event, usually involving actual or threatened death or serious injury of the person or others. While most people will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, not everyone will suffer from PTSD. Some risk factors that may increase the risk of one suffering from PTSD include:
- Previous history of trauma and experiencing other concurrent stressors
- Personal history of mood or anxiety disorder
- Underlying anxious prone personality
- Lack of social support
- Genetic factors, with those having a family history of mental illness being at higher risk
- Concurrent substance misuse
There are also suggestions that those suffering from PTSD have changes in their brain structure and hormone levels.³⋅⁴⋅⁵
[³]Bremner, J.D., Randall, P., Scott, T.M., Bronen, R.A., Seibyl, J.P., Southwick, S.M., Delaney, R.C., McCarthy, G., Charney, D.S. and Innis, R.B., 1995. MRI-based measurement of hippocampal volume in patients with combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder. The American journal of psychiatry, 152(7), p.973.
[⁴]Geracioti Jr, T.D., Baker, D.G., Ekhator, N.N., West, S.A., Hill, K.K., Bruce, A.B., Schmidt, D., Rounds-Kugler, B., Yehuda, R., Keck Jr, P.E. and Kasckow, J.W., 2001. CSF norepinephrine concentrations in posttraumatic stress disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(8), pp.1227-1230.
[⁵]Duncan, L.E., Cooper, B.N. and Shen, H., 2018. Robust findings from 25 years of PTSD genetics research. Current psychiatry reports, 20(12), pp.1-9.
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