PTSD is one of the effects of active military service. Due to various combat incidences, service personnel will likely experience multiple traumatic events, resulting in PTSD-related symptoms. Even with this exposure, not all veterans experience this condition, leading to the belief that some veterans are more likely to develop PTSD than others. So what are some factors that could be the reason for this?
Prior Exposure to Trauma
Veterans who have experienced trauma before their service in the military are likely to develop PTSD more than counterparts with a healthy upbringing. Combined with trauma in service, these veterans are at increased risk of PTSD. Expert vet lawyers state that prior incidences like childhood physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional trauma from unstable upbringing could lead to this.
Gender will also be another factor that plays a role in developing PTSD. Typically, women are more likely to encounter domestic and sexual violence at the home and societal level, creating more cause for concern when trauma happens in service. Unfortunately, women will also likely experience sexual harassment and assault in military duty, creating a trickle-down effect of PTSD-related conditions such as anxiety and violent outbursts.
While sleeping problems will often not be a cause of concern among the general public, issues with falling asleep can overlap with PTSD, which has been linked to insomnia. Sleep difficulties are also a leading cause of mental health conditions, a category PTSD falls in. If the sleeping problems also result in difficulty paying attention, irritability, and forgetfulness, veterans could be more likely to develop PTSD within shorter time frames.
Exposure to Traumatic Events
Veterans will often be stationed in different areas with different risk levels, creating a broad scope of threat experiences. Unfortunately, service personnel exposed to severe life-threatening situations will develop trauma due to constant fear of attacks, resulting in PTSD. Additionally, repeated exposure to life-threatening conditions could result in responses such as impulsiveness, irritability, and anxiety. Veterans may also become easy to startle, creating PTSD-related symptoms.
Lack of Support
Support among veterans is an essential element that allows personnel in war-prone areas to cope with their emotions. Where this is lacking, veterans could end up lost in their thoughts, leading to depressive episodes that slowly result in PTSD. Individuals with strong support systems are likely to be enrolled in family treatment plans, allowing them to get professional support.
Age is another factor that could significantly impact PTSD development among veterans. Service personnel in the younger age bracket, most notably under 25 years, are still developing mentally, with individuals in this age bracket having different emotional responses to traumatic events. This is contrary to veterans above the age of 30, with such individuals likely to interpret events from a more mature perspective.
Presence of Prior PTSD-Related Conditions
Having co-occurring conditions such as anxiety and depression makes it more likely for veterans to get PTSD. If veterans with these conditions are in environments that trigger them, they may develop PTSD.
Veterans in different ranks will also have different exposure levels to combat situations. Veterans ranked lower are often at the forefront of fatal incidences, increasing their risk of developing trauma. This is not the case with veterans ranked higher, with officials operating in offices only required to assess the situation from safe environments.
While veterans at all levels gain the same level of appreciation and respect for their time on active duty, various factors will expose these personnel to different levels of threat, creating varying degrees of trauma. Due to this, individuals with risk factors such as prior exposure to trauma and exposure to traumatic events are at more risk for getting PTSD. Additionally, gender, sleeping problems, and those at lower service ranks also stand a greater chance of developing traumatic events after enrollment into the military.