PTSD is not an expected response to trauma, according to the DSM 5, but a rare and an unexpected response to trauma. Accordingly, most people who experience trauma do not go on to experience PTSD.
Why do some experience it, whole others don’t?
For the first time, with its 5th edition, the DSM 5 addresses the issue of “psychological vulnerability” to PTSD. (Note: this has been met with some criticism).
According to the DSM 5, there are numerous predisposing factors commonly found in persons who develop PTSD. These include:
- Childhood abuse and neglect
- Lower level of intelligence
- Lack of resiliency in one’s personality
These suggestions are very controversial because they suggest that members of the US military, who are widely respected and honored, went into combat with some deficiencies and personal baggage that made them vulnerable to developing PTSD.
In addition, some fear that the issue of pre-existing conditions could interfere with medical or disability benefits for those with PTSD (for example, if one was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder prior to being diagnosed with PTSD, that person could be ineligible for benefits).