5 Common Causes of PTSD You Should Know

mental health
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A rising segment of the population is getting older, and demographic patterns around the world are shifting. While many older adults feel fulfillment and happiness in their later years, some struggle with their mental and psychiatric health. 

Understanding, assessing, and treating post-traumatic stress is a topic of special importance to clinicians working with older persons, both Veterans and non-Veterans because post-traumatic stress symptoms can appear or reappear later in life.

Tragically, traumatic situations happen frequently. In reality, 20% of adults in the United States will get PTSD due to a significant traumatic event they experienced in their lifetime, affecting 70% of American adults overall. This means that a staggering 24.4 million people are struggling with a severe mental health problem that requires professional help. 

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32 Responses

  1. Granddaughter was a victim of attempted murder suicide and her dog she keeps reliving the smell of gunpowder and all the blood. He shot her in the face and dog in the head they both survived but she saw him take his own life. She seemed to be better mentally in the hospital but now that’s she’s out she keeps talking about nothing to live for. We are having problems getting her into immediate counseling there is always a waiting list.Help !!!

    1. I had suffered from PSTD. There is ALOT of Help out there.
      Example : Your local hospital for instance has a clinic for 30 day live-in patients to get counseling and meds for this. I did, helped me alot. Just bring her in.. A doctor there can admit her.

    2. That is horrible I’m so sorry you have to go through that and then you try and get help and are told to wait… can you section her into the hospital so she can get help?

    3. Surrender to Christ & He WILL deliver freedom & peace in His time. We have to cooperate with His word. When He knows this then He surly delivers!! Praying for her!!

      1. Amen, this is my choice every since trying counseling and meds for over 30 years. Has you said God will heal me in his own time.

    4. Hey, I am bipolar, and I have been seeing therapists for 25 years for both medication management and therapy. I struggle with PTSD from childhood and sexual trauma. I went to Teladoc, and it is fantastic. The online therapy, whether by video or voice has been a lifesaver for me. I am facing multiple health issues and at 55, have struggled with feelings of, why I’m still here? My therapist is fantastic, and she is a licensed care social worker who is the mental health counselor masters as well. She is not a psychologist, which is who I have usually used. I have a psychiatrist for medication management, but I really need to talk therapy. Her name is Wendy Mitchell, and she’s out of Miami. I live in Florida as well, but I’m pretty sure that this is all nationwide and you can get her if you wanted to. Just go to the Teladoc website and sign up. BTW, all sessions, 10 in this way by remote are FREE! Oh, yes, she is a trauma and PTSD specialist having worked mostly with young people in the foster system. She’s been on the front lines for years, and that’s why I trust her.
      All the best-

    5. I don’t know what your medical insurance situation is but if you have department of health and human resources medical card or Medicaid try going through home base that is a part of the medical card counseling I have children who are special needs and self harm they have wonderful programs for this and they really truly do help my whole family is in counseling I have PTSD trauma I have anxiety issues general social and situational I am abused child from childhood on and I have been diagnosed with also PTSD trauma anxiety triggers and borderline personality disorder due to all of these triggers meaning I’m a people pleaser you ask I’ll try my best to do it even if it kills me I was trained that way from my childhood up be seen not heard do don’t ask anyway try home base try it through your medical card it should be able to get you on the right spot to get you help for your granddaughter have a wonderful blessed day but we keeping you in my prayers…

    6. Hello Ruby,
      My heart ❤️ goes out to Your Grand Daughter and All her loved ones. Please let her know that God has a plan for her and Good is coming.
      God Bless her and You for reaching out, along with All other Loved ones.
      I can’t speak of an easy, non painful path, I pray in Jesus’ name that she will seek him and his Love. Amen

  2. Yes! I suffer from trauma and PTSD. I am an ex convict and felon and lived many experiences with Police Brutality, mostly from racist cops that just arrest you for no reason! I changed my life! Yet I have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and have multiple undiagnosed learning disabilities. I am a college student and qualified for DSPS due to severe depression and they don’t want to waste testing money when I already qualified. One of my counselors believes I have Dislexia, I read and write backwards at times or have difficulty understanding written language. I stress alot! And Math is my favorite subject yet I can’t learn it, so this counselor said it could be Discalcula. I also know I have ADHD because my brain works to fast, I get high anxiety because I can’t concentrate in crowded and load spaces I like to isolate from society but am a work a holic. I denied SSI because it’s not enough to cover a family of three expenses and I can work. Robin Williams was Bipolar and very smart! Why can’t I be! I went to school and want to be a female theorist. Never read a book on a female theorist jus Floyd, Edmund son, Piaget, etc. I am a Child Development major,a mandated reporter who was a teachers aid when I was 18 and committed my first offense around 20 got sentenced to 3yrs in prison, I flipped the judge off and tried to spit on him. He then switched my sentance to incompetent to stand trial, and sent me to Patton State hospital/prison for 51/50’s til I can prove myself competent to stand trial. I did 3months there and three months at Las colinas. I now have to live with PTSD and poverty it’s self is my worst trigger! I stress in extremes that I can black out and not know what I am doing til I snap out of it! All because of my anger which I did anger management, I control my temper. But I suffer from verbal abuse on the daily and I ignore it for my own sake but I’m done playing afraid. I can tell people I’m 51/50 and have mental illness please walk away and they will not listen til they get their ass whooped. Today I am high functioning, I’m very smart people don’t understand me or they get jelouse or hate me! I don’t know but I have 5 yrs of college and love learning even though it’s a struggle for me. I learned to advocate for myself. Yet I fear cops even though I’m doing my best not to have an episode and end up in a psych ward as I did 5-6 times five yrs ago. If I go to a psych hospital I’ve been warned that I will be put on conservatorship! I’m scared to be on SSI. It’s not enough and veterans with mental illness and Trauma and PTSD are on vet assistance receiving SSI and homeless doing drugs because they can’t afford rent they rather live on the streets. Not me! I am high functioning a special needs child at once who went undiagnosed and had a behavioral problem at home and at school. I was beating my bullies up boys and girls in 3rd-4th grade and getting suspended. Yet no IEP or services were given to me. Just counseling and recognizing how I feel is what I remember receiving help with in elementary. I was aggressive because I was a sweet nerd who couldn’t Learn til College and DSPS happend. It’s like I should be a criminal for life. Today I am an activist and advocate for those around me no matter what race you are #AllLivesMatter #Blacklivesmatter #Chican@smatter #theworldmatters and the Government is the real devil and it is slow to research poor neighborhoods and solve homelessness. I almost got tapped by a black homeless man! When I was homeless and he wanted to prostitute me. I have a teen daughter today and I hate that this world allows people to live on the streets. Are you proud to be a comformed Human being? Because I’m traumatized by my experiences in life and stress is my worst trigger I relapse or am at risk of relapse every day. I worry and stress that my teen boy and girl could be harmed by anyone on the streets as they now ride public transportation. I’ll never heal! I scream for help and I also will warn you if you are sending me threat messages. Like racist people in all races do! I’ve experience a white racist man attack my son because of our skin color, I whooped his ass, because I will die for my kids. I protect them, I advocate for them. Learning disabilities run in my moms side of the family, so does addiction, my dads side has mental illness most Bipolar disorder it just affects people differently. There is bipolar 1 bipolar 2 etc. and Different Bipolar diagnosis. My first diagnosis was bipolar disorder, today I’m Bipolar Skitzoaffective disorder, with multiple undiagnosed learning disabilities yet took the best teachers in community college. I made sure they had Doctorates and were very challenging, I’d fail the class and retake and pass with A’s or B’s. I can’t recall ever getting passing grades I usually went to school during vacation too and got passed for E for Effort. But have always struggled to learn. I’m a child failed by my own system abused by my own system I’m American, a Mexican American, full blooded Indian, a Chicana today because I’m educated, smart, and very talented, street smart, and Life skilled to succeed. I fought the San Diego Unified District for my sons IEP, took him to a charter school and it’s the best choice I have made. He has ADHD and Auditory processing Disorder and guess what, I’m a mandated reporter, a teacher, a student, a mother, and his advocate. I’m pushing for verbal abuse to become a law, it’s a treat to an individual and usually creates bullies who create gangs. My son just got into his first fight at 16 because he is very kind and sweet doesn’t disrespect or bully anyone yet he had court at his school for fighting a kid that was spreading rumors about him. They said his behavior influenced his friends to jump in yet my sons friend jumped in and my son knows better than to involve someone in his problems. He stopped fighting when his friend join. Jumping is for whimps, my son knows how to fight because I train him for self defense. I took taekwondo and jujitsu and am very good at fighting, I’d be good for MMA I just don’t fight anymore but boy bullies grow up and cause major dis function to innocent people. My son had court to see if he was going to get suspended. I let the school know he will never return to San Diego Unified District, he will not go to another charter school because I can’t trust nobody with my kids. I have a right to homeschool them I’m already a teacher who cannot work with kids but I am an activist in my community and stand against corruption from our slow to help system. Wow! Who’s the real menace to society. My son won and his teachers love him and they are who sent a wellness check order to my home when I got kidnapped by a homeless black man, and was captured for 3-4 days til I escaped. I hate this world and I’m not proud of Americas culture and oppressive thinking. I work for a non profit, and create art in my work, I’m very smart I feel genius. I am a Fan of Albert Einstein, a geek nerd disguised as a chola because I get bullied for being a know it all. I hate talking to new people as those I do talk to are friends for decades or family or neighbors. Racism comes in all colors not just cockasian and that is not visible so I get triggered to be out in society. I just work go to school discipline my children teach them skills that will help them achieve their dreams, and play soccer with the same people I’ve played with since I was 12 yrs old. I’ve been kicked out of jobs for coworkers framing me with lies but yet I always get hired somewhere else because I’m serious about how I live my life, because I can lose mine to police brutality any day if my ptsd triggers me and I go to shock and black out. I usually fight or resist arrest because I just need to calm down my brain thinks it’s in danger of it’s life and I react without being conscious, I don’t know if that is bipolar or ADHD but my son is so identical to me but better controlled. He doesn’t have a behavioral problem but is high stress and I’m patient with him I give him time to calm down when needed. And so far I’m proud to be their parent. I will always fight for their rights to be respected. He will go To a UC if it ever intrest him. He will be ok without an education because I can open a business in many things and I don’t want him to ever work a working class job. He will be his own boss or run a business so will my daughter. I stay safe for my kids but they aren’t safe in this world full of cruel people who don’t teach their kids how to love and respect those around them. My kids are nowhere near arrogant liars they are not afraid to be honest, nothing but honest, lies are punished at home and secrets are shared with mom because mom needs to know. I communicate choices and consequences and they will be successful with me as their greatest teacher! I’m an ex convict who chose education as a life changer. And I have major mental illness and on top learning disabilities. God bless me for my hard work and dedication to ending homelessness. There are not enough shelters for the amount of of homeless in my area. They are mostly black. Sad to say! I always try to help those in worst situations than mine. They are lost and abandon children that grew up in dysfunctional homes or they are undiagnosed remember the No child left behind act didn’t exist until Obama won presidency. I voted for him but I’m not proud of some of his actions. He was a great president to vote for, very admirable but he did terrible decisions that affected my children’s father and migrating families that try to make it to the US as asylum seekers. I thought I voted for the right president until I learned what tv doesn’t expose of presidents. I still root for him as he brought so much knowledge forward yet he was so smart he got stupid. And he came from poverty I loved watching him on tv he has a lovely family but I don’t vote any more don’t care about fighting nothing. I just want to be housed and never be homeless again. I don’t want SSI that’s for lazy people or people who’s scars are deeper. I don’t know but I was homeless and ate from the trash 5 yrs ago. I am sober and living my best life today.

  3. She may need multiple types of therapy. Grief counseling, trauma counseling, domestic violence support, ptsd. She has so much to process. The trauma of what she experienced is multi fold. The grief and loss of the relationship – surviving violence from this lost relationship. The grief of seeing her dog be wounded. And the trauma of seeing someone take their own life. It’s like she was on a battlefield.

  4. I was married for 40 yrs before my husband passed away, 30 of those years I was abused very badly by my husband, got married in spring of 1975, still in senior high school. Oh the first was great, had my son in 76, after that is when I started getting beat on, nothing I ever did was right to him, oh I thought it would stop, but the more kids we had the worse it got, had 9 children altogether ,any way long story short I got beat on all the time until he got sick with cancer

  5. Suffering unfortunately is our opportunity for inner spiritual growth and if you ask yourself what can all this senseless suffering teach me it is that life is precious and to live it since it’s glorious to be alive the only thing we own in life is choice all of us are in the gutter but some choose to look up at the stars

  6. What about a female having been bullied in her mid teens. When I was a mid teen aged girl, I was very severely bullied for 5 months. I was fourteen, so, OF COURSE, I was in Eighth grade. Before I changed JUNIOR HIGH schools, in March, these four very, very maladjusted, vicious, hostile, bitter, very Masculine excuses for teenage girls would Actually often Punch me (ONCE, they punched me on my HEAD!). This was very maddening, very very scary, very physically painful, and fairly painful emotionally. I was very, very afraid of going to school. After this terrible experience, I became very withdrawn, and had a very low level of self confidence and trust for three years. Fifty years later, I still have anxiety attacks, and still worry excessively. I would think this would Definitely qualify as PTSD.

  7. Hi,
    Take her to the Emergency room. Tell them that she is experiencing suicidal thoughts. She should not have to suffer alone.

  8. Did I miss something? Where were childhood sexual and other abuse? And, domestic violence? Those both resonate with me personally as lifelong “influencers”.

  9. You missed a very big one. Traumatic childhood. Never knowing if abuse will occur, never knowing what type of abuse, alcoholic parent(s) don’t usually know when they have crossed the line. Also incest is very prevalent in ptsd.
    Not having any friends for fear of doing or saying the wrong thing and would pay dearly for it later. Too much for a child to carry.

  10. These things are not disorders. They are the normal human response to trauma. If you don’t have them you are not a human, you’re a robot. Making them a “disorder” that needs attention from the medical community is complete rubbish designed to justify the abundance of “counselors” and pill pushers in that community. They should be ashamed of themselves. If they told the “victims” that it’s normal to have thoughts and dreams about their traumatic experience that would be a positive, healing therapy. The thoughts and dreams will gradually fade in frequency and intensity over time and great strength can be found in knowing you survived a horrible event and should now truly cherish your life and live it to the fullest. Don’t buy into the self-serving “disorder’ and “disability” dogma sold by the self-serving medical community.

    1. I’m a 67-year-old man who was diagnosed with chronic PTSD 5 years ago and told its been since I was 5 I’ve had this condition. The last 5 years I have been processing it all and it all makes sense to me. Seems there are stages to PTSD and I’m going through a shame stage. at this time. I’m no longer in a rage and feel it’s over. Takes time to forgive yourself and others. What you wrote was very positive for me and I thank you.

    2. The best comment I have read. I to am a survivor and Yes, some of these thoughts she is having, I believe are normal Human Being responses. That being said, I also believe that survivors need help in going through the steps of recovery. For me, this is a Life Long progress. I survived a domestic attempted stabbing murder a lil over 20 years ago. Several surgeries, with the last one being 13 years ago, eventually, I do believe this is what will kill me, currently, life goes on. Not only was I a victim of the female perpetrator, but by medical staff, nurses, doctors, police, my own family and friends. I still do physical labor for work, co-workers are true ASSHOLES. For that matter, I believe most fellow MANKIND are as well.I found comfort opening the Christian Bible with Jesus.

  11. Without a firm and personal belief in reincarnation nothing that happens in one’s life makes any sense

  12. known by the military onetime as “shell shock” ptsd is more than combat fatigue and it can happen to common people as well as… it is a psycho neurological disorder caused by extreme stress to the mind and body… it does not play favorites we activate a certain energy within the mind that brings about an awakening of a Latent energy we are as humans are‘ALL familiar with (death)…learning to face death is learning to face ‘reality’ there is NO greater ‘art and science than the art of learning to die ( tibetan book of the dead)… do not let it come as a surprise

  13. Some people, due to their horrible existence, become almost immune to trauma, that actually occurs in the confined of the “family” Example, my father would beat me on a regular basis, in one instance, he pummeled me with his fists, I was howling in pain, he said, I’ll give you something to really cry about, he put the red ember of his cigarette on the back of my right leg, and burned me. As I yelled in pain from having a cigarette put out, on the back of my leg, he grabbed my arm, and spun me around in almost a complete circle, and the let me go, as I slammed head on into the wall and a book case. Now you got something to cry about. My crime I committed to deserve this ugly beating? I was playing with my plastic army soldiers, 10 minutes after I was supposed to be in bed. I was in rough shape after being been for 20 minutes, my parents sent me to school anyways, the principle, the Dean of Boys and a policeman, and myself, crammed into a car and were going to take a visit to my father, as they talked on the way there about dear old dad, the Dean of Boys said: that guy, is his father, from my understanding he’s drunk, 24/7. turn around the car the Dean said, he was a very big man, I’m not going to get in a fight with a drunken nutcase! well have to figure out something else.

  14. Another cause of PTSD is domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is how I personally was diagnosed with PTSD. I knew something was not right as I would look over my shoulder constantly, I jump at every noise, and I would not venture outside until I scanned the immediate area and have my dog with me. I am even bothered now by Thunderstorms. As I stated I jump at every crack of thunder. Storms did not bother me before.

  15. Giving someone a sense of purpose realizing that we ‘all’ have a purpose in life – while we may not like everything we will experience, it amounts to us having the privilege to survive these experiences that are challenging if not traumatizing. Life in some sense can seemingly taunt us not understanding the reason for these things to happen. “Why me?” Yet so much so not just why me, but why not me? Can I have a reason to share with someone along this way that there is hope for us in the midst of life’s chaotic scenarios? Can I love someone past the point of hopelessness and pain, and give ‘them a reason to hold on, to find a sense of help in each other but to realize ultimately that a greater work occurs when we can love above out adversities and survive beyond our challenges. Today around the world we celebrate a victory over death that sought to hold Him captive, yet He rose. Let us rise also, let us surpass our trials and excel beyond our boundaries that others place on and over us. Let us arise from the ashes of despair and realize the Hope that awaits us all. IN VICTORY – share the passion of your pain with others to let them know – they too can rise above the indignity, indifference, shame and humiliation of injustice others often impose on us; and live again to see the joy in today. To be thankful for each moment and each day one by one; thankful for each breath, every unique flutter, every thought that makes you – you. A Survivor. Praise God. YOU ARE MORE THAN THE SUM OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES!!!

    1. That’s Beautiful Richard. I have Passion, I have Compassion, I have Love, but I have trouble putting my thoughts into Elegant words as You and Others have.

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