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Risk Factors for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD are more likely to occur if a person has the following risk factors:


  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/post-traumatic-stress-disorder. Updated June 2017. Accessed February 1, 2018.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114915/Posttraumatic-stress-disorder-PTSD . Updated June 26, 2017. Accessed February 1, 2018.
  • PTSD basics. National Center for PTSD—US Department of Veterans Affairs. Available at: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/index.asp. Updated April 17, 2017. Accessed February 1, 2018.


  • Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.