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Trauma Rehab Centers

Can You Be Predisposed to PTSD?

Can You Be Predisposed to PTSD?Posttraumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that comes from an unhealthy reaction to trauma. The “fight or flight” reaction to danger is a normal response that protects people from harm, but people with PTSD experience these reactions even when danger passes. Knowing the symptoms of PTSD and your family history of anxiety disorders can help you recognize PTSD and get help.

Symptoms of PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder causes many symptoms. These symptoms can be both physical and emotional and are generally grouped into three categories. If you experience trauma and have PTSD, you may exhibit any of these symptoms:

  • Reliving the traumatic event through flashbacks and experiencing physical symptoms such as a racing heart or sweating, bad dreams and frightening thoughts. These symptoms are unpredictable and can happen at any time.
  • Avoidance means staying away from places or events that remind you of the trauma, emotional numbness, guilt, depression, loss of interest in favorite activities and loss of memory of the event
  • Hyperarousal means being easily frightened or startled, feeling tense, having angry outburst and difficulty sleeping

Each of these symptoms is normal after trauma, but if you have multiple symptoms that last more than a few weeks after trauma you may suffer PTSD.

Predisposition to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Not everyone who experiences trauma will get PTSD, but people with a family history of anxiety may be at higher risk. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the following factors may contribute to whether or not a traumatic event will trigger the disorder:

  • Living through a dangerous event or trauma
  • Family or personal history of mental illness
  • Injury
  • Seeing loved ones or others hurt or killed
  • Feeling horror, helplessness or extreme fear
  • Very little or no support from others after trauma
  • Extra stressors after the event such as the death of a loved one, pain, loss of job or home.

If any of these risk factors are true for you or a loved one, you may be predisposed to PTSD.

Treatment for PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder can happen to anyone, but some people are at higher risk due to personal history of trauma, environment and family history of anxiety disorders. If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, we are here to help you. Our helpline counselors can answer your questions about PTSD and treatment options, so call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now.