Causes of PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

These are the causes that can contribute to developing PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are many factors—too many to list—so this is a condensed version that is meant to provide you with some guidelines.

Potential Causes of PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

  • Compromised attachment bonds and child abuse: neglect, abandonment, misattunement, being unwanted, family secrets, debt, divorce, depressed or addicted parents, ongoing verbal and physical abuse.
  • Sexual abuse, ritual abuse, rape
  • Loss
  • Bullying
  • Medical: hospitalizations, surgeries, chronic illness, invasive medical procedures, anesthesia, burns, poisoning.
  • Fetal distress and traumatic birth.
  • Accidents: falls, high impact accidents (including auto accidents), head injury, electrocution.
  • Suffocation: drowning, strangulation.
  • Attack: rape, war, bombings, physical abuse, mugging, molestation, physical injury, stabbing, gunshot wounds, animal attacks.
  • Natural and man-made disasters: earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, floods, terrorism, dislocation from the natural world and community.
  • Horror: Seeing an accident (especially with blood, gore, and dismemberment), watching someone else being abused, raped, killed or tortured, being responsible for killing or hurting someone.
  • Torture, systematic abuse.
  • Prolonged periods of stress.
  • Narcissistic Abuse

Which of these above-mentioned causes of PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder relate to you?

Leave your comment below.

  • Kathryn says:

    You also could include being stalked, and being kidnapped or held captive/
    or having your children kidnapped by a partner. Stockholm Syndrome often accompanies PTSD as well.

  • Heather says:

    Narcissistic abuse is an absolute must to be included; which includes ongoing emotional abuse, psychological abuse, verbal abuse, gaslighting, power control, coercion, manipulation to the point of complete destruction of self esteem and often soul. (and sometimes includes physical abuse). It is a form of domestic violence/abuse.

  • Christine says:

    I don’t agree that debt and divorce should be on the list for C-PTSD. Unless they feared for their life or the life of someone else and developed trauma related neuropathways as a result.

    • Roland says:

      Perhaps not CPTSD but certainly PTSD. Each case is individual though.

    • Cindy says:

      Well, my kids had to deal with their sociopath dad along with financial abuse that caused debt ( and divorce of course) so the issues with their dad were enough to cause PTSD (it caused mine) but I think that the financial abuse added to it.

  • All but war, ritual abuse, gunshot wounds, fires, tornadoes. So, a freaking lot!

  • Amanda says:

    Can identify with many on this list unfortunately.
    What I came to say was thank you for putting rape and molestation under attack with war, etc, where it belongs. That change in narrative is very helpful to break down stigma and shame.

  • Jordan says:

    Drug addiction, homelessness,

  • Liz Tunstall says:

    Also moral injury. The world then seems forever and irreparably imbalanced and to be feared as a consequence.

  • Kam says:

    I have had at least three of these, ongoing since childhood.

  • Calvin Blue says:

    Sexual abuse,molestaton,fetal distressand traumatic birth physical beatings watching abuse, stabbing,losses, prolonged periods of stress, neglect and abandonment……………

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