Causes of PTSD

Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is essentially a memory filing error caused by a traumatic event and can affect anyone who has been exposed to a traumatic event (this can include the trauma happening to you, or being a witness to trauma).

The defining characteristic of a traumatic event is its capacity to provoke fear, helplessness, or horror in response to the threat of injury or death and therefore can affect anyone. Examples of traumatic events include:

It’s not clear why some people develop PTSD whilst others who’ve been in a similar situation don’t develop the condition. We do however, know that anyone can develop PTSD, but some people are at greater risk.

Some of the risk factors for developing PTSD include:

  • repeated trauma
  • lack of support after the trauma
  • having had a mental illness in the past
  • a history of abuse or trauma in childhood
  • the type/severity of the traumatic event

Traumatic events can also cause depression, generalised anxiety, and agoraphobia – and if you experience any symptoms for longer than one month after a traumatic event, it’s important to talk to a doctor or other medical professional as soon as you can.

Treatments for PTSD

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.

PTSD UK Blog

You’ll find up-to-date news, research and information here along with some great tips to ease your PTSD in our blog.

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10 ways to relax when you have PTSD

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Support & information for Friends and Family

When someone you care about suffers from PTSD it affects you too.

The symptoms of PTSD aren’t easy to live with, and the changes in your loved one can be downright terrifying. You may worry that things won’t ever go back to the way they were before. At the same time, you may feel angry about what’s happening to your family, or hurt by your loved one’s distance and new emotions.

Your support can make a huge difference in your friend or family member’s recovery. But as you do your best to care for someone with PTSD, you also need to take care of yourself too.