Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What causes PTSD?
There are many factors that lead to the development of PTSD. This includes the interactions between biological correlates, intergenerational factors, individual life experiences (trauma).

Who develops PTSD?
Individuals of any age can develop PTSD after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. In addition, studies have shown that people who have experienced an earlier traumatic event may be more prone to developing PTSD.

Do all trauma survivors develop PTSD?
No. Research demonstrates that approximately 20-25% of trauma survivors develop PTSD. Therefore, our research at the TSSD is aimed at finding psychological and biological factors that may predict the development of PTSD.

Is PSTD the only consequence of trauma?
No. Research has shown that PTSD is one of many possible responses to trauma, including depression, alcohol and drug use, and nicotine dependence, which is why PTSD may often co-occurs with these disorders.

Is it possible to heal from the effects of traumatic stress?
Yes. Effective and empirically-proven treatments for PTSD have been found to minimize or eliminate symptoms due to past trauma(s).

What are the goals of Traumatic Stress Studies Division?
The Traumatic Stress Studies Division is working to identify psychological and biological variables that predict successful treatment outcome and to determine whether biological changes are reversed by treatments. If such predictors can be identified, early interventions may be targeted to vulnerable individuals and aimed at prevention.