The Causes Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder   

The Causes Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an incredibly complex condition which can be caused by a range of things. Certain events which the body and brain have perceived to be traumatic may not seem as significant life changes. 

The causes of post-traumatic stress disorder are varied, but they usually fall into one of three categories: direct exposure to trauma; indirect exposure to trauma; or witnessing someone else being exposed to trauma. 

This can be a specific event which is highly traumatic, or repeated experiences of abuse, neglect, or other negative events which take place during childhood. This is a look into some of the most common causes of PTSD. 

Symptoms Of PTSD

PTSD presents itself in a variety of symptoms, and it is worth speaking with your doctor if you are concerned about something you are experiencing. offers a range of medical definitions and treatment plans, which could be useful when you are deciding how to approach PTSD. 

Some of the most common signs that someone is experiencing PTSD include avoiding talking about a particular event, recurring and distressing memories. Flashbacks are a common symptom of PTSD, and many individuals will feel like they are experiencing a traumatic event all over again. 

The mind is an incredibly powerful organ which can create these intrusive memories years after traumatic events. Other common symptoms include negative changes in someone’s mood, ways of thinking, and even in their physical reactions. They could be startled much more easily, have trouble sleeping, or engage in self-destructive behaviors. 

PTSD Causes

The main thing to remember about PTSD is that an event does not have to be seen as traumatic to other people. If a particular individual perceives an experience to be traumatic, then it is likely to cause them long-term psychological damage. 

This typically presents itself through PTSD in later life. The events which can result in PTSD are something that the brain categorizes as traumatic. If we feel like our lives are being threatened on a repeated basis within a certain scenario, the natural response can be to come up with coping mechanisms which help us get through and deal with the long-term consequences later. 

This is usually in the form of PTSD, which can present a range of unique challenges even when we do not feel threatened anymore. These are some of the more common causes for PTSD, but it is worth remembering that it depends on how the mind functions and what is perceived as traumatic. 

Direct Exposure To Trauma

One of the most widely recognized forms of PTSD is a result of direct exposure to a traumatic event. This is why war veterans are more likely to suffer if they have been on the front line, and why PTSD can be known as ‘shell shock’. 

The trauma here includes any event where you were directly involved in the actual experience of the trauma. For example, if you witnessed your friend getting shot, lost a limb in an accident, or experienced assault. 

No matter what devastating situation you are suffering from, if it’s traumatic enough, you may develop posttraumatic stress disorder according to

Indirect Exposure To Trauma 

Here, the person experiencing the trauma was not present at the time of the event. However, it still qualifies as a cause because their mental state could have been affected by what happened to them. 

This could be if you were caring for someone who has experienced trauma, or have someone close to you who’s past traumatic experience is impacting you. This is known as secondary trauma, and the effects can be just as valid as PTSD resulting from direct trauma. 

The impact on your life can be traumatic, and it can be challenging to look after yourself and practice good hygiene if untreated. Additionally, some people actually experience indirect trauma in the workplace by repeatedly hearing about traumatic events on the job. 

Risk Factors

There isn’t any biological predisposition to PTSD, however there are certain factors which can make it more likely that you will suffer in later life as a result of trauma. These include having a lack of support system, which can make it difficult to precess certain events. 

Early life events are also more likely to contribute to PTSD if you experienced abuse or neglect, for example. Statistically, someone has a higher chance of suffering from PTSD if they are in a job which is deemed more high-risk. This includes emergency services and the military. 


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a highly complex condition which is seen in a range of individuals who have experienced different types of traumatic events. These include childhood neglect, abusive relationships, or work place accidents. 

If you are concerned that you might be experiencing PTSD, it is worth speaking to your doctor and checking out the link above for more detail. 


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