Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - Causes

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What causes PTSD?

Virtually any trauma, defined as an event that is life-threatening or that severely compromises the physical or emotional well-being of an individual or causes intense fear, may cause PTSD. Such events often include either experiencing or witnessing a severe accident or physical injury, receiving a life-threatening medical diagnosis, being the victim of kidnapping or torture, exposure to war combat or to a natural disaster, exposure to other disaster (for example, plane crash) or terrorist attack, being the victim of rape, mugging, robbery, or assault, enduring physical, sexual, emotional, or other forms of abuse, as well as involvement in civil conflict. Although the diagnosis of PTSD currently requires that the sufferer has a history of experiencing a traumatic event as defined here, people may develop PTSD in reaction to events that may not qualify as traumatic but can be devastating life events like divorce or unemployment.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Live Again, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 23

My PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is from a car that hit me on my hip, knocked me down, ran over my legs and then reversed over them. I have plates, rod and screws in my hip, right and left legs. I can still hear the popping of the bones as they were being broken, the tires crunching against the ground, my screams, police and ambulance sirens, darkness and headlights. I had to leave my apartment and move in with my son. I have tried going for a short walk a few times but I am unable to cross a street alone, I do not like going out after dark because of the headlights, the tires on the ground makes my heart pump faster, and the jitters start in my stomach. When I do have to cross a street, I always have someone with me. When I am crossing and see a car I move back and turn away from the car. My body then starts to shiver. I am thankful that I was saved and did not die; and that I have such a beautiful family that is very understanding and help me.

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Comment from: MrsSoSad, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

Gang rape on a bus is the cause of my PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). They kicked my head and stomach and when the big one punched me one tooth came out and two others are still loose. My shoulder still hurts from hanging onto the bus bar so they couldn't drag me off the bus. It was a few months ago.

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