It is estimated that nearly 8% of Americans will experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives, with women being twice as likely as men. PTSD is characterized by re-experiencing or re-living a traumatic event, avoiding people, places, and situations that remind the person of past trauma, hyperarousal, nightmares, negative thoughts/beliefs about life, being easily startled, and more. If you have PTSD, you may be wondering why others don’t develop this disorder. The symptoms can certainly be distressing and can affect nearly all aspects of daily life, depending on the severity.
Researchers from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and New York State Psychiatric Institute found that there’s more to PTSD than trauma itself. They studied 260 male veterans from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. All the participants got diagnostics completed on PTSD, even if it was 11 or 12 years after the war ended. Of the soldiers who experienced traumatic events, only 31.6% developed PTSD. The researchers wanted to find out why only this percentage of soldiers had PTSD, if all of them experienced some sort of trauma while in combat. They found several other factors contributed to the development of the disorder – including age, childhood experiences of abuse, a mental illness that was present before the war, and if infliction occurred on civilians or prisoners.
As you can see, it’s not just the traumatic event that determines one’s vulnerability to developing PTSD – it involves a variety of other factors. Brain resilience is a term used to explain the brain’s role in PTSD susceptibility. Many hormones can affect whether PTSD sticks around or not – cortisol, norepinephrine, glutamate, GABA, serotonin, and dopamine have all been shown to play a role as their levels are increased or decreased during traumatic events and afterwards. Furthermore, weak connections in the brain have been shown to increase one’s risk for PTSD.
The good news, however, is that brain structure and function can be strengthened with proper nutrition, support, sleep patterns, sense of community, exercise, and more. If you haven’t already, seek treatment for PTSD today at a reputable treatment center. Here you can develop many skills towards coping and moving forward with your life.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.