Life stressors are also a risk factor. When people are currently experiencing life stressors, such as divorce, financial difficulties, work stress, or children who have emotional problems at school or home, the likelihood of developing PTSD may increase. The precise risk factors for PTSD are very difficult to establish. In general terms, they can be divided into two parts.
The first is exposure to trauma, which is the first criterion of PTSD. The second factor has nothing to do with exposure to trauma, but to personal circumstances, aspects of trauma, and post-traumatic conditions. Understanding that not all people who suffer trauma will develop PTSD, he shares the importance of this genetic research in order to be able to intervene quickly after trauma in people identified as people at greater genetic risk. The strongest group of predictive factors were those that operated during or after the trauma, such as the severity of the trauma, lack of social support, and additional life stress.
As mentioned above, there are a growing number of research studies dedicated to exploring the role of genetics in the development of PTSD. It has been shown that the more intense the event, such as witnessing death or extreme violence or having been injured during the traumatic event, can be a risk factor. The researchers found that, for women who sought care after being raped, a common cause of PTSD, identifying people with risk factors for PTSD, such as other mental health conditions and a significant response to acute stress, could help healthcare providers provide appropriate support after the event. Genetic markers currently being investigated for their role in influencing the development of PTSD include those such as the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) and genes associated with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA).
About 70 percent of American adults have experienced a traumatic event at some point in their lives and, as a result, about 20 percent of them develop PTSD. People who generally try to deal with challenges in isolation may be at greater risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder. Regardless of whether or not you develop PTSD, it's mostly about how you, as an individual, process the experience. For some people, having a history of trauma increases the risk of developing PTSD after another trauma, while other people suffer multiple traumas and don't develop PTSD, says Gary Brown, PhD, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist who has been treating PTSD survivors for 25 years.
Researchers have found that, among women of European and American origin, in particular, about a third (29 percent) of the risk of developing PTSD after a traumatic event was influenced by genetic factors. The good news is that post-traumatic stress disorder could be prevented if you know your risk profile and receive appropriate support immediately after a traumatic event. Exposure to trauma is the factor that initiates PTSD, however, there may be other influential elements to consider. By understanding that the emotional impact of trauma can have a cumulative effect, it can be easier to understand how past traumatic experiences can be a risk factor for a person developing PTSD after a marked traumatic event.