Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common mental condition, which relates to experiencing a traumatic event and continually re-experiencing it in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, or regular recollections. An individual with PTSD is more presumably ordeal self-harm episodes and suicidal thoughts (Dückers et al 2016). A person who encountered rape or other intimate trauma is more likely to develop PTSD than an individual who was involved in an accident or a natural disaster (Mgoqi-Mbalo et al 2017). According to a survey conducted with female survivors of rape, around 87% of them underwent severe PTSD symptoms, 51% were showcasing signs of serious depressive disorder (Mgoqi-Mbalo et al., 2017). These findings support the claim that PTSD, depression, and other connected mental illnesses are closely tied with rape and alternative personal traumatic experiences.
As can be seen in Figure 1, 70% of PTSD patients had experienced physical assault, 64% – sexual trauma, 57% – sexual rape, 43% – the death of a loved one, 40% – human trafficking, 34% – illnesses or injuries (Dückers et al., 2016). For example, in the United States, there are around 3,5% of adults encountered post-traumatic stress disorder in the given year, while 9% can experience the same over their lifetime (Dückers et al., 2016). An estimated statistic says that 0.5-1% of the worldwide population suffers from PTSD, the majority of whom are females (Dückers et al., 2016). Moreover, they develop anxiety, mood disorders, and depression in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder (Fenster et al., 2018). It is also common among PTSD patients to suffer from substance abuse (alcohol, drugs among others.). Additionally, there is a strong connection between the difficulties in emotional regulation and PTSD. People with the higher risk factor are military, survivors of violent crimes, victims of natural disasters, humans who are constantly exposed to violence (concentration camp survivors, kidnapping survivors, emergency service workers, police officers) (Lehavot et al., 2018). While men are more prevalent to experience traumatic events, women are at higher risk of developing PTSD and connected illnesses since they happen to be the main victims of violent crimes.
Moreover, statistical information showcases that childhood trauma is among the risk factors associated with developing PTSD in adulthood after a similar traumatic event (Lehavot et al., 2018). Furthermore, the duration and harshness of trauma further contribute to the length and severity of the disease. However, the incidence of PTSD among U.S. veterans, as showcased in the Figure 2, is around 12,9%, although approximately 87% of veterans were exposed to potentially traumatic events (Lehavot et al., 2018). Refugees are also at higher risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder since the exposure to the hardships of war and traumatic events can provoke severe trauma. As estimated by the research, among the 452 Syrian refugee respondents, around 35.4% of them experienced PTSD in their lifetime (Kazour et al., 2017). Refugees have an increased number of traumatic events surrounding them, which provokes them to experience stress and anxiety connected to the war experience. Although some countries try to provide medical treatment for refugees, there are not nearly enough mental help to aid them.
To conclude, post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious mental condition, which makes one’s mind vulnerable to stress sources and enhances one’s risk of committing suicide. Humans who experience personal trauma are more likely to develop PTSD than people whose trauma is impersonal. Moreover, the severity of trauma can increase the durability of PTSD episodes and make the healing process more difficult. Refugees and people who experienced violent sexual acts are also at higher risk of developing PTSD.
Dückers, M. L. A., Alisic, E., & Brewin, C. R. (2016). A vulnerability paradox in the cross-national prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 209(4), 300–305. Web.
Fenster, R. J., Lebois, L. A. M., Ressler, K. J., & Suh, J. (2018). Brain circuit dysfunction in post-traumatic stress disorder: From mouse to man. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 19(9), 535–551. Web.
Kazour, F., Zahreddine, N. R., Maragel, M. G., Almustafa, M. A., Soufia, M., Haddad, R., & Richa, S. (2017). Post-traumatic stress disorder in a sample of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 72, 41–47. Web.
Lehavot, K., Katon, J. G., Chen, J. A., Fortney, J. C., & Simpson, T. L. (2018). Post-traumatic stress disorder by gender and veteran status. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 54(1). Web.
Mgoqi-Mbalo, N., Zhang, M., & Ntuli, S. (2017). Risk factors for PTSD and depression in female survivors of rape. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 9(3), 301–308. Web.