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The 8 Risk and 5 Recovery Factors of PTSD

When I think of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), my immediate thoughts are of the courageous Veterans who have bravely served deployments in the United States military, many of whom have survived injuries as a result of direct combat and other horrific actions.

However, my thoughts can’t stop at Veterans when it comes to PTSD. In the Chicago area, we hear about multiple shootings every day, and Chicago ranks in the top 10 American cities for murders to this point in 2022, according to World Population Review.

The survivors of gun violence and the families of those who have been slain also deal with PTSD. Women who have endured domestic violence and sexual assault also cope with PTSD. And the list goes on…

Considering June is PTSD Awareness Month, and June 27, is PTSD Awareness Day, I think it is very important to review 8 risk factors and 5 recovery factors of PTSD as identified by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

What is PTSD?

The NIMH defines PTSD as “a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.”

The majority of us will naturally bounce back after a trauma given a little time, but people who are diagnosed with PTSD experience their body’s “fight or flight” response even when they are not in any danger.

What are the Risk Factors of PTSD?

Not everyone who suffers a trauma will develop PTSD, and researchers are conducting a variety of studies to determine if genetics and neurobiology play a role; if it is possible to recognize people at higher risk of developing PTSD; as well as ways to prevent it.

The NIMH has identified 8 factors that increase the risk of one developing PTSD:

  • Living through dangerous events and traumas
  • Getting hurt
  • Seeing another person hurt, or seeing a dead body
  • Childhood trauma
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
  • Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse

In addition, the NIMH lists 5 factors that may promote recovery after a trauma:

  • Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
  • Finding a support group after a traumatic event
  • Learning to feel good about one’s own actions in the face of danger
  • Having a positive coping strategy or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
  • Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear

I happen to know several men and women who have been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of trauma and I know people who have experienced trauma with resilience and have no diagnosis of PTSD. I predict that you do, too, whether you know it or not! This condition is fickle and presents itself in many ways. In most cases, the factors listed above along with available treatment options make a huge difference in recovering from PTSD. In other cases, PTSD is considered chronic.

Home Helpers® is here to lend support to those suffering from episodic and chronic PTSD, and my team will do so with the utmost compassion and respect.

For those self-isolating from social situations, a compassionate caregiver can provide companionship like a family member. When PTSD has a paralyzing effect that negatively impacts activities of daily living, like personal hygiene, homemaking tasks, and nutritional meal planning and preparation, I have highly trained caregivers who gladly perform these services, too.

Home Helpers® is your family when family can’t be there, and I’m happy to offer a FREE Assessment to discuss specific needs and review the in-home care services we deliver to make life easier. If you or a loved one has PTSD, I will create a custom care plan to meet you where you are and tailor it to meet your individual requirements.

Home Helpers® Bourbonnais/Kankakee/Frankfort proudly serves male and female seniors in Beecher, Bourbonnais, Bradley, Dwight, Frankfort, Kankakee, Manteno, Mokena, New Lenox, Orland Park, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Tinley Park, Watseka, Wilmington, and surrounding areas. Contact me today to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers® - We are Making Life Easier℠ for you and yours! 815.427.4238


World Population Review

National Institute of Mental Health