Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Statistics

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Statistics

Post-traumatic stress disorder treatment centers see cases of this anxiety disorder triggered by rape, war, death and other instances of trauma. It’s thought that part of the reason some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder is due to heredity. Although the exact cause hasn’t been pinpointed as of yet, a great deal is known about the disorder.

Facts About Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is relatively rare considering 70 percent of adults in the U.S. have dealt with a traumatic event, but only around 20 percent of them develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the trauma. It’s estimated that nearly 7.7 million adults in America have post-traumatic stress disorder at any given time. At any point in time, it’s estimated that 8 percent of the U.S. population has this mental ailment, which is equivalent to the entire population of Texas. Out all of the patients who attend an outpatient mental health program, roughly 50 percent has post-traumatic stress disorder.

This particular condition is more common in women than it is in men. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 9 women develop post-traumatic stress disorder. This percentage is nearly twice as high as the percentage of men who develop it.

Some possible causes of the illness include:

  • Natural disaster
  • Serious accidents
  • Physical, emotional and sexual abuse
  • Physical, emotional and sexual assault
  • Major emotional loss
  • Terrorist attack
  • Combat experience

One of the most common underlying causes of post-traumatic stress disorder is serving in the military. Approximately 20 percent of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans develop it. In addition, 10 percent of Gulf War veterans had it and nearly 30 percent of all Vietnam War veterans had it. In the past year, the number of diagnosed cases of people in the military rose by 50 percent. Only 17 percent of troops are female, and over 70 percent of them develop post-traumatic stress disorder due to sexual assault within their ranks.

It is natural to have an emotional reaction to trauma, but some reactions can persist for longer than one month and lead to a full mental disorder. According to the National Institute of Health, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can begin within three months of the trauma, but may not appear until years later. It is not understood why some victims of trauma get a post-traumatic stress disorder and others do not.

Treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is typically treated with psychotherapy, medication or both. Medications usually prescribed by doctors include antidepressants, which can help patients control the emotional symptoms of the disorder. Psychotherapy with a mental health professional can also help confront and overcome their symptoms. A combination of both therapies is usually the most effective.

If you or someone you know has experienced trauma and may have developed a lasting emotional disorder as a result, it is important to seek the necessary treatment to maintain proper behavioral health.

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