CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
You can develop post-traumatic stress disorder when you go through, see or learn about an event that causes intense fear, helplessness or horror.
Doctors aren't sure why some people get post-traumatic stress disorder. As with most mental health problems, PTSD is probably caused by a complex mix of:
- Your inherited mental health risks, such as an increased risk of anxiety and depression
- Your life experiences, including the amount and severity of trauma you've gone through since early childhood
- The inherited aspects of your personality — often called your temperament
- The way your brain regulates the chemicals and hormones your body releases in response to stress
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