It is estimated that over 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced some sort of traumatic event in their lifetime. Of those people, around 20 percent will eventually develop PTSD, and the women in that group are twice as likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder than the men are.

What Causes Someone To Develop PTSD?

Any sort of traumatic, terrifying, or violent event that someone has witnessed, experienced, or heard about can cause someone to develop PTSD, but most often PTSD develops after incidents that cause physical harm or is life-threatening. This event or experience causes people to undergo a tremendous amount of stress which can affect both mental and physical health.

Why Do Some People Get PTSD And Others Do Not?

As we discussed in the statistics above, not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD, and we know women experience PTSD more often than men. So why is that? What makes one person more susceptible to PTSD than another?

There are certain risk factors that appear to make someone more susceptible to developing PTSD, including being physically hurt or targeted during the traumatic event, experiencing childhood trauma, having no social support after the event, and having a history of mental illness. On the other hand, there are factors that come to play after the traumatic ordeal that could make someone less likely to develop PTSD. These include seeking support from friends and family, joining a support group, having appropriate coping strategies, and accepting one’s own actions during the event.

It is believed that women experience PTSD more often for two reasons. The first is that women are statistically more likely than men to be the victim of a targeted attack in adulthood, such as sexual assault or abuse, and targeted attacks can be a bigger catalyst for PTSD than something such as an accident or natural disaster. The second reason is that women are more likely to seek help for symptoms of PTSD than men are, meaning they receive more diagnoses.

How Can Peer Support Help?

Peer Support Central’s mission is to provide empathetic, professional, and proven support for people who have experienced trauma, including military personnel and first responders. This includes preventative critical incident stress management training, as well as reciprocal peer support from people who have lived through the same experiences as those they are helping.

Many people choose to not seek help for fear of being seen as weak. But as you can see above, none of the risk factors for developing PTSD have anything to do with physical or mental weakness. It has been shown that having a support system can make someone less likely to develop PTSD, as well as reduce the negative symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Contact Peer Support Central today to find out what we can do to provide support for those who have experienced a traumatic event.