PTSD — Can It Be Prevented, Will It Go Away?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can affect adults, children, veterans, and many more. Seven out of every 100 people will be affected by PTSD at some point in their lives.

Not every person who goes through a traumatic event will get PTSD. Why do some people get it while others do not?

Risk and resilience factors

Many people have some symptoms of PTSD after a traumatic or dangerous event. The symptoms usually go away in a matter of weeks or months.

We don’t know why some people get better after trauma, while others get PTSD. We do know that there are risk factors and resilience factors for PTSD. These can help us understand the risk that a person will have PTSD after a traumatic event.

A risk factor is something that makes it more likely for a person to get a disorder. Some of the risk factors for PTSD include:

  • Living through a dangerous or traumatic event.
  • Getting hurt.
  • Seeing other people get hurt.
  • Having other stressors after a traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one.
  • Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse.

But did you know that there also resilience factors? A resilience factor is something that can reduce the risk of a disorder. For PTSD, resilience factors include:

  • Getting support from friends and family.
  • Taking part in a support group.
  • Having a healthy ways of coping with bad events and finding a way to learn from them.
  • Learning to feel good about your actions in the face of danger.

People who have factors like these have less risk of getting PTSD after a traumatic event. There may be other risk factors, too. Researchers think that genetics and our brain make up can play a part.

One day we might be able to use these factors to be able to know who is likely to get PTSD. We might also find ways to prevent it.

Will PTSD go away on its own?

PTSD does not always last forever, even without treatment. Sometimes the effects of PTSD will go away after a few months. Sometimes they may last for years – or longer.

Most people who have PTSD will slowly get better, but many people will have problems that do not go away. There is no way to tell who will get better without treatment. That’s why it’s always important to talk to a doctor.

Getting help

The sooner you talk to a professional, the sooner you can get help. There are many ways to treat PTSD, including medication and therapy and support groups can also help. To find a psychiatrist or a therapist call PerformCare Member Services and they will help you find one near your home .

Talk to a doctor if you think you have PTSD. Not sure? Learn more about the symptoms and signs of PTSD.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health