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However, the majority of people who experience this type of event will not go on to develop PTSD.
An analysis from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys found a 5.2% risk of developing PTSD after learning of the unexpected death of a loved one.
Predictor models have consistently found that childhood trauma, chronic adversity, and familial stressors increase risk for PTSD as well as risk for biological markers of risk for PTSD after a traumatic event in adulthood.
An individual that has been exposed to domestic violence is predisposed to the development of PTSD.
Men are more likely to experience a traumatic event, but women are more likely to experience the kind of high-impact traumatic event that can lead to PTSD, such as interpersonal violence and sexual assault.
One estimate suggests that the proportion of children and adolescents having PTSD in a non-wartorn population in a developed country may be 1% compared to 1.5% to 3% of adults, and much lower below the age of 10 years.
In the typical case, the individual with PTSD persistently avoids trauma-related thoughts and emotions, and discussion of the traumatic event, and may even have amnesia of the event.
However, the event is commonly relived by the individual through intrusive, recurrent recollections, flashbacks, and nightmares.
The likelihood of sustained severe symptoms is also higher if people around the survivor ignore (or are ignorant of) the rape or blame the rape survivor.While it is common to have symptoms after any traumatic event, these must persist to a sufficient degree (i.e., causing dysfunction in life or clinical levels of distress) for longer than one month after the trauma to be classified as PTSD (clinically significant dysfunction or distress for less than one month after the trauma may be acute stress disorder).Recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder or other anxiety disorders may be hindered, or the condition worsened, when substance use disorders are comorbid with PTSD.Research has also found that PTSD shares many genetic influences common to other psychiatric disorders.Panic and generalized anxiety disorders and PTSD share 60% of the same genetic variance.
Heightened startle responses and a smaller hippocampal volume have been identified as biomarkers for the risk of developing PTSD.