• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Am i at risk for ptsd?


Most people exposed to a major traumatic event do not develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), nor is PTSD passed through genetics (Yehuda, Bierer, 2009). There is no rhyme or reason as to who gets PTSD and who does not. To make things worse, experts find evidence to support some risk factors, while others fail to find supporting evidence of the same factors. One aspect majority agreed upon is dose-response (Dead Link Removed), as this encompasses multiple factors.

Dose-response refers to the longevity and compounding severity of trauma exposure. For example, in the United States, lifetime trauma exposure is 50-60%, PTSD prevalence is 7.8%; in Algeria, trauma exposure is 92%, PTSD prevalence is 37.4%. Dose-response association has held up whether the traumatic experience has been sexual assault, war-zone, natural disaster or terrorist attack (Galea et al., 2002).

To put this as simply as possible, the longer you experience the trauma and the more trauma you endure, the greater risk to develop PTSD! This cumulative trauma effect has been demonstrated for a wide range of adult outcomes, including depression, suicide, PTSD, substance abuse disorders, heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and other such associated health risk factors as obesity, smoking, sexual promiscuity and lack of exercise (Anda et al., 2006).

There are further risk factors for PTSD, which include pre-traumatic, peri-traumatic and post-traumatic factors.

Pre-traumatic factors include--though are not limited to--age, gender, trauma history, education and the like. Being a women increases risk for PTSD due to increased risk of child sexual abuse, rape or intimate partner violence (Link Removed). However, women are more favourably responsive to treatment than males.

Peri-traumatic risk factors concern the nature of the traumatic experience, such as dose-response, exposure to other atrocities, panic attacks and other emotions.

The primary post-traumatic factor is whether or not the person received social support (social learning theory). Immediate social support is quite possibly the most important factor to reduce the likelihood of developing PTSD. Persistence of PTSD is found to be based on current tense than past tense factors, such as present emotional support, social support and whether there are current adverse events occurring within your life (Link Removed).

Social support might be particularly applicable to child victims of trauma given that the response of caretakers is a strong predictor of a child's post traumatic reaction. While many variables exist as potential risk factors, a person must understand that risk factors are primarily correlation and not necessarily the cause of the adverse outcome.


While there are no specific knowns about who will, and will not, obtain PTSD, the most common attribute associated with risk for PTSD is the peri-traumatic circumstances. One can typically ascertain a risk value based on the type of traumatic event, in other words.

I could include a laundry list of items that are used to govern risk in obtaining PTSD. However, the real question is not "Am I at risk for PTSD?" but rather "What are the pathways through which risk factors are associated with PTSD?" (Dead Link Removed)
Last edited:
Very informative! I believe men are also at risk…”being a woman increases risk” …”women more favorably responsive to treatment” I differ here. The therapist and his/her ability to embrace and empower the client/individual (traumatized) in trust makes a world of difference. Just my 2 cents
Hi, I have or ad which I believe I have under control. It happened as a teen and wasn’t diagnosed until 2010, a good 30 years later. Anyway I’m healthy psychologically, physically I’m a mess, had 3 surgeries related to the accident and 5 procedures in the last 16 months, I’m not complaining but I am not doing well physically, my spinecis a mess. L3 to s1. Anywho, I’m on a few ptsd sites and I share and assist members especially since I’m older. Well what no y bothers me is some of my family doesn’t buy the ptsd angle, I know it’s ridiculous but people seem to e sorry about how It affects them . I was disappointed. People are just not real enough for me. At least v I know what kind of person I am, I care too much maybe that’s it, so I would rather be alone then hear lies or excuses, I have integrity I have character, well I’m done for now, thx
Very informative! I believe men are also at risk…”being a woman increases risk” …”...
Absolutely. There is a difference though when talking males to females.

For example, females are at higher risk due to nothing more than being female. That places 50% of the population at higher risk due to their sex.

Males are at higher risk within specific circumstances, not merely being male. In limited contexts there are low socioeconomic males who are exposed to violence and such, who may attribute PTSD that way. You have a percentage who will serve in the military — a majority male dominated field and typically males are the ones who enact and fight war. Females are the minority in such situation.

Again though, why I used the above example, is that females are at increased risk for doing nothing other than being born female, where males are not. Males require a categorisation to increase risk, not merely being born.
I’m not sure I even understand a lot of Thi article.. But then I do have Severe PTSD and have done for over 20 years.
Thankfully it is something you can’t catch or pass on to others.
I am not sure I believe women are more prone to PTSD. I think we probably talk more openly about it that’s all.
My heart bleeds for anyone with this menace and the sooner we find faster ways to help people the better. Now at least it is coming out into the open but that just means there are more suffering so ….
I encourage anyone who has or thinks they might have this illness to contact a trained trauma therapist ASAP. Don’t suffer in silence. Keep screaming for help until someone helps!!!!
Prone is a tough word to use — not necessarily the best, which is why I haven’t used it in this article.

If you want to use prone for your understanding, then women are more prone to early traumatic life events than males, due to nothing more than their sex. More males abuse females, than male male abuse. Children or adults. These are very clear statistical facts.

Enduring trauma increases your risk for PTSD — therefore women are statistically more likely to have endured early trauma than men. Female to male abuse is very low, statistically, when compared to male female abuse.

This increased risk, and statistical occurrence evidence, places women in a higher bracket than men for PTSD and other mental health problems.

You should not confuse this with getting PTSD, but increasing risk for PTSD and mental health conditions. Risk is a more accurate term than being prone to something.

Definition of Prone: likely to do, have, or suffer from something.

Definition of Risk: the possibility that something bad or unpleasant (such as an injury or a loss) will happen.

The first says you’re likely to suffer, the second term says you have a possibility. Different meanings.
I was kidnapped in sodomized at age of 7..Then was sodomized n physically beaten by 5 Young adult males in there late teens, Then was made to perform oral sex on a Adult male,In also sodomized again only year after the. Kidnapping, My grades plummeted. When I was 8, before the abuse I was on honor roll, I always blamed my Self for many yrs. I become a alcoholic at age of 11.Then graduated to cocaine pills anything that numbed my memory! To continue to fund my drug habit I became a male hustler at age. Of 13 things I was made to perform sexually sickens me,,as I continued on this path. School never even attempted not one teacher or school counselor, ever asked me if anything remotely ever was wrong in my life out of school not blaming school system of Jersey. City,.However me blaming myself I wad not going to reveal anything, I was just a terrified child not wanting to reveal the abuse I was to afraid! I would be blamed in then labeled a homosexual in at, that era late 70’s early 80’s I be a outcast in have to endure being a target for other kids & beaten.I can’t write anymore now my PTSD is engulfing my head with flash backs like a recording being the same scene played over n over AGAIN, Thank you for reading I needed. to vent
Hi Colin, sorry to hear of your traumatic history. Maybe registering to the forum and discussing your thoughts there may be more healing for you?

Take care of yourself please, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, you’re the victim in all this, not the abuser. Cycling abuse back onto yourself, harms you, nobody else.
I don’t know if this is just an assumption or an observation. I do wonder if more women are diagnosed with PTSD because women are more like to express their feelings and emotions than men are? I know it’s a presumption.
I just always wonder that there could actually be more men out there not diagnosed, but are suffering from this debilitation disorder and maybe feel too ashamed to admit their fears, since one symptom of PTSD is panic, terror and anxious feelings.
Maybe a woman would feel easier discussing these feelings than ‘some’ men would?

I don’t know, just throwing it out there as it popped in my head!
I don’t know if this is just an assumption or an observation. I do wonder if more women are diagnos...
Based on statistics, your observation is quite astute — women are more likely to seek treatment than men. Saying that, that does not negate the risk factor for PTSD being heightened for women due to their gender, than men.

There is no doubt in my mind that there are lots of men and women who go undiagnosed and untreated.
I work at a school and today was my first day back since doing diagnosed with PTSD. It was an inservice day (a day without kids) but I was SO anxious as I had to meet with my boss and teacher supervisor to let them know what was going on with me. My therapist felt there were certain people I shouldn’t work with or I might set back my progress that was made. My stomach was a Rollercoaster of nausea. I ended up with a headache, but I made it through the first day. Hoping tomorrow will be easier. (Sigh)