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What increases your risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

ANSWER

These things can increase your risk:

  • Previous trauma, like childhood abuse
  • Having another mental health issue, like depression and anxiety, or a substance use problem
  • Having a close family member, such as a parent, with a mental health problem, like PTSD or depression
  • Working a job that may expose you to traumatic events (the military or emergency medicine)
  • Lacking social support from friends and family

SOURCES:

JoAnne Difede, Ph.D., director of the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies, NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill-Cornell Medicine.

National Institutes of Mental Health: “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder.”

American Psychological Association: “What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?’

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: “PTSD: National Center for PTSD.”

Washington Academy of Sciences: “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: What Happens In the Brain?”

Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience: “Traumatic Stress: Effects on the Brain.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 13, 2017

SOURCES:

JoAnne Difede, Ph.D., director of the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies, NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill-Cornell Medicine.

National Institutes of Mental Health: “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

Mayo Clinic: “Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder.”

American Psychological Association: “What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?’

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: “PTSD: National Center for PTSD.”

Washington Academy of Sciences: “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: What Happens In the Brain?”

Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience: “Traumatic Stress: Effects on the Brain.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 13, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What should I expect if I have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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