Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious psychiatric disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Read on to learn more about the risk factors for PTSD and how we can help you find relief.

It’s normal to feel scared, nervous, or stressed during a traumatic or scary event. Your body naturally shifts into flight-or-fight mode as a way to help you cope with these situations. However, some people experience fear and stress long after the initial event has passed. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing an upsetting event.

But what makes some people more likely to experience PTSD than other people? That’s what

Nadja Nelson-Zeno, MSN, PMHNP-BC and our team at Peace, Hope & Harmony, Inc. are here to answer.

Here’s a closer look at what PTSD is and the risk factors for it.

Understanding PTSD

PTSD is a debilitating condition that can affect your ability to function. PTSD causes several types of symptoms, including:

  • Re-experiencing symptoms, such as flashbacks and nightmares
  • Avoidance symptoms, such as going out of your way to avoid any place or person that reminds you of the initial event
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms, including feeling on edge, angry outburst, trouble sleeping
  • Cognition and mood symptoms, including guilt, negative self-esteem, loss of interest in your favorite hobbies, and memory issues

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, you need to demonstrate one re-experiencing symptom, one avoidance symptom, two arousal symptoms, and two mood symptoms for at least one month in order to be diagnosed with PTSD.

Risk factors for PTSD

Traumatic events include car accidents, severe illnesses, natural disasters, physical and emotional abuse, loss of a loved one, war, childhood abuse or trauma, and sexual harassment or rape. Not everyone who goes through a stressful or scary event develops PTSD, but certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing PTSD.

Risk factors include:

  • Having a history of mental illness, such as anxiety or depression
  • Having a history of substance use disorder
  • Living through dangerous events or witnessing people close to you go through a traumatic event
  • Living or working in an active combat zone (either as a civilian or as a member of the military)
  • Seeing another person hurt or die
  • Having a history of childhood trauma
  • Going through a traumatic event and having little (or no) mental health support afterward
  • Dealing with extra stress that develops as a direct result of the event

Although PTSD can feel overwhelming, it’s important to remember that PTSD is treatable. The gold standard treatments for people with PTSD are medications and therapy. Treating PTSD can help you alleviate your symptoms (including the mood, avoidance, arousal, and reliving symptoms), but it also helps you avoid the serious complications of untreated PTSD: suicidal thoughts and increased risk of suicide.

If you have a co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety, or are currently experiencing trauma, it’s important to address those issues as well.

Get emergency help: if you are currently experiencing domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 for 24/7 help. For mental health crises, call the suicide and crisis hotline at 988.

Getting help for PTSD in Texas

As a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, Nadja Nelson-Zeno understands the complexities of PTSD. Our compassionate team at Peace, Hope & Harmony, Inc. provides psychiatric consultations, evaluations, and medication management. Although we are located in Midlothian, Texas, we aim to serve anyone suffering from PTSD in our great state of Texas via telemedicine.

Give us a call at 469-264-5133  or book your consultation via our online booking system.


We accept most insurance providers. If you have specific questions regarding your
coverage, please contact us for additional information.

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