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)
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New Here
Hi guys!
I was recently diagnosed with PTSD and clinical depression. I was sexually assaulted as a child and repressed it until I was a teenager when it all came into light (bad timing). I became suicidal and felt dirty all the time. I got help and got better this was several years ago! Unfortunately I saw the guy a few months back! After seeing him I started experiencing being on edge constantly, always looking over my shoulder, restless etc went to my doctor who thought it was anxiety. I was put on lexapro and then aropax after having severe side effects they were stopped! This made me 100 times worse! I had to have days off work as I was in a ball in bed because I was vomiting so much. I’ve been given Valium in the meantime till I get an appt with a psychiatrist to see what meds I can take. When I was diagnosed with clinical depression I was surprised because in my head I wasn’t sad so didn’t think I had depression! I had the lack of motivation, loss of appetite, agitation etc. what are some of your coping mechanisms? I talk to myself to say I’m ok which my psychologist told me to do! It helps calm me down when I start getting anxious.

Thanks for listening! This is all new to me! I’m happy to listen if anyone needs it


New Here
I am lost., I do see a therapist, how ever my wife does not give me any support we have a 7 yr old boy. I know. It is not his fault of course it is the abusers I had in my life..I try in tell my wife how I feel ! She seems to understand for about 2 hrs.I have been a stay at home dad, since my son was born…was then I was flooded with the past, I don’t neglect him in any way however. ..I should get the Academy. Award these past 7 yrs I hide everything my pain is unbearable sometimes I just sit in cry when he is in school…I am not looking for pity from wife just to know how much I’m hurting insidr..What she do to add fuel to fire had a online sexting affair and possibly of line, There was no way I was ignoring her I would plead with her for sex..In there was not one time during our love. Making that I was satisfied first,,I always satisfied her then myself..Still. I suffer in silence in my river of low self esteem, self hate, but some how I keep on going for my” son, Peace

ms spock

This might be of interest in terms of the statement that PTSD is not transmitted genetically. Link Removed There is some interesting research out there.

ms spock

It is looking at it from the other point of view, that it is possible that certain traumas might be passed through genetics to predispose a fear to a smell of cherry blossums, as in the rats, it is a drawing a long bow, but you could extrapolate that it could make a certain person more likely to get PTSD?


New Here
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.
Great article! Thank you so much! People often comment that I am making it all up or attention seeking or , my favorite, believe I am pretending in order to scam the government. So when I see articles stating the facts, and in such a clear and concise way, it's like breathing fresh air.
Thanks again