Anyone can develop PTSD following a traumatic event, but people are at greater risk if the event involved deliberate harm such as physical or sexual assault or they have had repeated traumatic experiences such as childhood sexual abuse or living in a war zone. Certain jobs like being in the military or police force also pose greater risk of developing PTSD.
Apart from the event itself, risk factors for developing PTSD include a past history of trauma or previous mental health problems, as well as ongoing stressful life events after the trauma and an absence of social supports.
According to beyond blue, around 1 million Australians experience PTSD in any one year, and 12 per cent of Australians will experience PTSD in their lifetime. Serious accidents are one of the leading causes of PTSD in Australia.
According to The US Department of Veteran Affairs, women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than men (10% for women and 4% for men). There are a few reasons women might get PTSD more than men:
- Women are more likely to experience sexual assault.
- Sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than many other events.
- Women may be more likely to blame themselves for trauma experiences than men.
According to Army.gov, of the 30,325 current full-time Australian Army members it is estimated that that approximately 18,800 have had operational service and therefore two percent or about 375 will have developed PTSD.
Remember if you think you have PTSD please seek the help of a mental health professional.