6 Main Causes Of PTSD And How To Help

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental ailment caused by a stressful and traumatic incident that a person either experienced or observed. If not treated appropriately, symptoms such as flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares, hallucinations, and persistent anxiety and depression can develop with time. According to the National Center for PTSD, at least 8 individuals out of every 100 may encounter this sort of difficulty at some point in their lives. A broad range of factors and conditions can impact the occurrence of PTSD, so this disease can affect anybody, and everyone can recover from it with the correct therapy.

To that end, here is a list of the six most prevalent causes of PTSD and how to treat each one to guarantee a safe and quick recovery.

Sexual Abuse and Assault

One of the major causes of PTSD is sexual abuse or assault, which can result in a variety of unpleasant emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, and grief. Unfortunately, one of the most serious issues is the stigma connected to sexual assault, which can create humiliation or shame for certain people, exacerbating the situation. People who suffer from PTSD following sexual abuse have continual fear and nightmares, and they believe they are always in danger and cannot trust others. Other symptoms may include reliving the entire incident, being startled and scared easily, having negative ideas and beliefs, and suicidal thoughts, which are not uncommon. 

When it comes to treatment, psychotherapy has been shown to be one of the most effective alternatives for people suffering from PTSD as a result of sexual abuse. Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) assists patients in confronting painful memories related to sexual assault. Furthermore, prolonged-exposure treatment focuses on any acquired behaviors that patients participate in or avoid in reaction to events or memories related to sexual assault. The goal is that, through engaging in dreaded feelings and events, individuals will learn that anxiety and fear will naturally diminish.


Veterans make up the majority of those suffering from PTSD in the United States. Military personnel is subjected to a great deal of stress while on active service as a result of the battle in war as well as physical and sexual assault, which can lead to PTSD. They are more likely to acquire PTSD after active service if they have had more battle exposure, fired their weapon during battle, seen someone seriously hurt or die in front of them, and do not have the necessary social support following deployment.

PTSD can be a serious disorder that takes a long time to recover from. Although some might make significant progress, ongoing treatment is essential for addressing PTSD symptoms and recovering. Talking with a therapist is critical for treating PTSD in the veteran community because it allows people to process the trauma they encountered while on active service and ease their PTSD symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy assists clients in replacing negative thinking patterns with positive and constructive ones. 

Prolonged exposure therapy focuses on assisting people in confronting their anxieties by gradually exposing them to traumatic situations with the assistance of a qualified trauma therapist. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapy approach that uses speech, memories, and eye movements to help patients reprocess traumatic experiences.

Postpartum Trauma

Postpartum PTSD is one of the issues that roughly 9% of women face following a traumatic delivery. This disease is distinguished by frequent flashbacks, nightmares, and panic attacks associated with the memories and location of the traumatic incident. Postpartum PTSD is a condition that can make it difficult for a new mother to care for and bond with her infant, so effective treatment is critical for normal life and recovery. 

Unplanned c-sections, preterm childbirth, medical violence or carelessness during delivery, the need for NICU treatment for the newborn, or other birthing issues that may endanger the baby’s and mother’s lives are common causes of postpartum PTSD.

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Many of the recovery strategies overlap with standard therapy alternatives for people with general PTSD that are not related to delivering a baby. The majority of effective treatment options for postpartum PTSD center on Trauma-Focused Psychological Therapies (TFPT). These interventions have been demonstrated to be beneficial throughout the first 3 months after giving birth.

Vehicle Accident 

Vehicle accidents pose a significant risk of acquiring PTSD. This traumatic occurrence may make it difficult for those who survive to deal with their dread and other unpleasant feelings as a result of the accident. Anxiety about driving or even being in a car, irritability, excessive concern and anxiety, persistent nightmares and difficulty sleeping, a sense of being always in danger, or ongoing recollections of the accident that you cannot control, are all classic symptoms of PTSD following a vehicle accident. 

Aside from medical therapies like psychotherapy and counseling, additional techniques for dealing with this that should be combined with professional support include talking with your loved ones and discussing your thoughts with them, being physically active, and exercising frequently.

Life-Threatening Illness

People who have suffered from significant and life-threatening illnesses may acquire PTSD. Symptoms may develop months after being admitted to the hospital and may include repeated flashbacks, nightmares, and a propensity to avoid circumstances that may trigger memories of the incident. The overall sensation of being afraid for your own life, continual dizziness and discomfort as a result of medical treatment, and other potentially invasive therapies can all contribute to the development of PTSD in the future. ICU records maintained by hospital personnel and/or family members, as well as professional treatment, such as psychotherapy, may help avoid or lessen PTSD symptoms.


The death of a loved one can also increase the likelihood of acquiring PTSD. Death is a scenario that no one is ever prepared for, and losing a loved one may be extremely devastating and drastically alter your life. A disaster and the trauma that follows might influence your thinking as you try to absorb what happened. 

For example, you may experience excessive guilt, as if you were somehow to blame for the tragedy. You may also feel disconnected from the world or from those you care about. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), for example, helps you to become conscious of your ideas and opinions about the problem. Moreover, being physically active, surrounding yourself with other people you love and care about, and reminding yourself of all the good things you have in life can help you deal with this problem.

Hopefully, this post will assist you in identifying the problem and taking the necessary actions to deal with it and recover as quickly as possible.