What Causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

What Causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

What Causes PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)?

In this post we will discuss some of the causes of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), including a quick summary of what PTSD is.  This isn’t all encompassing, but it will give a base of understanding.  There are many outside resources out there to guide us along the way in our understanding, many of which can be found via links in our Resources section. 

Medically, society more commonly associates disorders to physical maladies as simple as a cold to any more serious ones, such as cancer.  This is because these are diagnosed more openly compared to psychological conditions. In fact, the latter is still being ignored much of the time compared to those whose manifestations are more pronounced.  

What you might not know is that these conditions might be just as serious, if not more dangerous. This stems from the fact that psychological conditions do not have any definitive cure. Instead, it is a combination of interventions that, in the end, would lead to a resolution and treatment.  PTSD in the field

What is PTSD? 

PTSD is a disorder that triggers anxiety attacks as an individual relives a traumatizing experience or emotion that made a lasting impression in them. This can easily affect any individual of any age, but it should be highlighted that our nation’s best, the ones who protect us; who are keeping us safe – military, law enforcement, paramedics and firefighters – might be the ones that suffer through it the most. It might not be all of them, but when it does affect them, the intensity can be extreme.  A more detailed explanation can be found here.

What are some causes of PTSD?

It can be self-explanatory, but for a layman, it can be easily associated with a trauma that an individual suffers.  For the men and women mentioned above, these kinds of stressors are not very hard to find. In fact, it is part of the everyday life within their chosen professions.

For example, military combat is one of the main causes of PTSD amongst soldiers. In fact, it is their everyday lives when they are deployed to hostile theatres which can be the cause as they live day in and day out under the stress of combat. Despite being the life and profession that they chose, it does not mean that it does not affect them in one way or the other.  In truth, prolonged exposure to these kinds of conditions can easily trigger PTSD in any individual, even the most willing and bravest of them all.

Moreover, part of military combat is the increased possibility of being held captive. It may not be common, but every now and then, we do hear of people becoming captured and held hostage either for ransom, or just to be made an example of in a video. The purpose of this is to strike fear either in their fellow soldiers or to the serving nation which have deployed their troops.  This is also considered a projection of power to show the captors’ allies that they have control. These kinds of situations, including different forms of terrorism and violent attacks, can cause debilitating trauma for those involved. It may vary from person to person, but these traumas can lead to PTSD further down the road.

Road accidents can also lead to PTSD. In its most subdued form, it could easily be a traffic accident that leads to no casualties or everybody going home with only the most minute of injuries. However, in the most extreme of cases, coming on scene to a horrific accident with a mass casualty situation will play on anyone’s psyche.  Road accidents can also mean triggered IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) to disrupt forces from doing their job. In most cases they are designed to both kill on a mass scale, as well as strike lasting fear in witnesses.Causes of PTSD

Causes of PTSD should not just be associated to just combat. For example, individuals can suffer from PTSD after enduring a natural disaster such as tsunamis, volcano eruption.  Even a strong thunderstorm can easily trigger a trauma that could lead to debilitating moments with the slightest reminder of an incident. In worst cases, just seeing a picture associated to any of these events could lead to anxiety attacks which can be very difficult to subdue at times.

Additionally, those who may have witnessed a death of a family member or close friend may also lead to conditions related to PTSD. It may manifest itself differently than other causes, or it may not manifest itself at all, but believe that it can happen, and it is more dangerous when they do not show any symptoms of the disorder.

Why is PTSD so dangerous?

PTSD is dangerous, mainly because it can manifest in varying degrees and it may be caused from different reasons. One incident might not be traumatizing for one individual, but it may be the worst that could happen to another. Everyone experiences trauma in varying degrees and in many different ways. Some may show signs, while others keep it to themselves.  The latter tend to do so because of a huge stigma around the condition.  This is usually due to them not wanting to be looked at as “weak” or unable to “hack it”. 

Society must be made more aware that psychological disorders, like PTSD, are something that everyone should take note of, and not just be brushed under the rug. Knowing the causes, and possibly their varying degrees, is a good first step towards throwing away the stigma and having a better recognition that it does exist and that we must do something about it.  It’s a veil that must be lifted and seen for what it is.

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Chris

Chris

I am a currently serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces as well as an individual struggling with PTSD. For me, this site is to help myself and those who are in the same boat as me. I am also the site owner and admin, so please, if there are any questions or concerns, let me know. -We are not alone-

2 thoughts on “What Causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

  1. That’s a pretty amazing comment Raginald. I share your view that it is very much a metamorphosis into something even more positive and beautiful than before. Through crisis comes opportunity…but it can be an exceptionally hard time getting there.

    For me, the war inside has never ended, and for 12 years I’ve put off coming to grips with and grieving my experiences, those friends I’ve lost and that part of myself that I lost. After so many years of it eating away at me, it was time to face the demons with the support I now have.

    This website is part of my own healing process (among other therapies). Thanks you for such great, wisdom filled words.

  2. As a German Biologist, my view is, it starts with the forced lowering of our threshold of awareness. A small, faint signal may be Life threatening. A shadow in the dark night, that should not be there. A noise that does not fit. The tension, something is bound to happen. It can be stressful to wait too long – and nothing happens!
    A wild animal in nature is used to live in a constant threatening war zone. And it experiences the safe zones, where to rest and regenerate, to mate and care for offspring…
    We create war zones, that never end, not even in our comfortable bed room. We imagine a threat, where is none. We learn to distrust. The stress of betrayal. Being trapped.
    As we cannot adapt our threshold of awareness to the safe zone, we abuse drugs, sex, distractions, food…Those toxins only will make it worse.
    We need a trusted environment with respectable honest persons, whom we know, will treat us well. Like Parents loving their Children.
    In our toxic Society, this is even destroyed in a family. There is no trust anywhere.

    In nature we have the still not understood concept of meta Morphosis. A Caterpillar becomes a Butterfly. The same genome with 2 different expressions.
    We can train to become that. A new person. What hurt the Caterpillar is gone. What hurts the Butterfly will be gone. This may be the biological part of the idea of re Incarnation. When we fail here and now, we have a new opportunity… a positive concept.
    Karma: To solve our problems here and now…

    My father was a German Wehrmacht Soldier in South Ukraine, Rostow / Don…A hell place. Not only the horrible war – the neglect, the lack of support in all areas. He survived with his scars. For us it is the lesson, there is never any war to be justified! There is never a way to win any war. It will kill and hurt its own people!
    Calculate the Social costs of 9 / 11 up to now… Osama hurt the USA like no other person ever! He won…
    We now have a Social War zone, Social Warriors trying to fight for their territory and threatening others. It is hard to train Social skills to learn to recognize those Abusers and learn to keep a healthy distance from toxic persons.
    become a Butterfly and fly away…
    Each Second I thank to still be here, to be part of Life…

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