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PTSD is a prevalent mental health issue that impacts a larger population than just veterans. Approximately 5 percent of Americans, or over 13 million individuals, suffer PTSD at any given moment. 

While post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most commonly linked with military trauma, it can emerge after exposure to any stressful incident. PTSD can occur in response to accidents, natural disasters, or violent situations. The majority of individuals have experienced at least one traumatic incident in their lifetime, although the vast majority do not develop this disorder. 

man in military uniform seeming to experience PTSD symptoms

As per posttraumatic stress disorder statistics, a comparatively small proportion of trauma survivors acquire PTSD. However, PTSD facts and data reveal that this disorder is more prevalent than many people believe. The experts as well as the general folks are anxiously looking forward to the PTSD statistics 2023. With the advent of social media and an increase in social stressors, the prevalence of PTSD is expected to rise in 2023.

Continue reading to learn more about PTSD statistics and recognized facts, as well as its treatment outcomes.

An estimated 70 percent of American adults have encountered at least one traumatic incident during their lifetime.

Up to twenty percent of these individuals acquire post-traumatic stress disorder.

At any particular time, an average of 5 percent of Americans, or over 13 million people, have PTSD.

Approximately 8.7 percent of adults, or 1 in 13, will acquire PTSD at a certain time during their lives in the United States.

Approximately 3.6 percent of American adults suffer from PTSD in any given year.

Women are nearly two times more likely than men to get PTSD. Around one in nine women will develop PTSD at a certain time during their lives.

The reported prevalence of PTSD in veterans varies from 1.09 percent to 34.84 percent, according to researchers.

Interestingly, 23 percent of women in the military have experienced sexual assault. Fifty-five percent of women veterans and 38 percent of male veterans were sexually harassed while serving in the military.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop following any stressful incident, not only battlefield trauma.

Approximately 5 percent of adolescents suffer from PTSD.

Sixteen percent of emergency physicians fulfill the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In general, PTSD percentages across age groups, genders, and races are on the rise. Let’s have a look at the most susceptible races, genders, and age groups. 

PTSD Statistics By Race

Studies have found that some demographic groups are disproportionately affected by PTSD. According to one study, the lifetime prevalence of PTSD was greatest among Blacks (8.7 percent), average among Hispanics and Whites (7.0 and 7.4 percent), and lowest among Asians (4.0 percent).

PTSD Statistics By Gender

Approximately one in nine women will develop PTSD at a certain point in their lives.

About twice as many women as men get the illness.

Surprisingly, 23 percent of women in the military have experienced sexual assault.

Fifty-five percent of the total female veterans and 38% of male veterans were sexually harassed while serving in the military.

PTSD Statistics By Age

In 2001-2003, 5.3 percent of people between the ages of 45 and 59 suffered from PTSD.

As of 2001-2004, 8 percent of female teenagers aged 13 to 18 years old had PTSD.

As of 2001-2003, the frequency of PTSD was lowest among people aged 60 and older (1%).

Approximately 70 percent of American adults have encountered at least one traumatic incident in their lifetimes.

Up to twenty percent of these individuals acquire post-traumatic stress disorder.

At any given time, around 5 percent of Americans, or more than 13 million people, have PTSD.

Approximately 8.7 percent of adults, or 1 in 13, will acquire PTSD at some point in their lives in the United States.

Approximately 3.6 percent of American adults suffer from PTSD each year.

One out of every five Americans who endure a stressful event will develop the illness.

Based on Harvard Medical School research in 2007, 36.6 percent of cases of PTSD are serious, 33.1 percent are moderate, and 30.2 percent are mild.

In 2016, the British Journal of Psychiatry analyzed twenty-four countries and found that Canada has the highest prevalence of PTSD.

Nine percent of Canadians will have PTSD during their lives.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is rooted in terrible situations, so we’ve assembled the most recent data depicting the percentage of people who are prone to develop the disorder after experiencing these horrific events:

Percentage Of Individuals With Specific Trauma Likely To Develop PTSD

  • Sexual assault – 49 percent
  • Violent physical assault – 32 percent
  • Serious accidents – 16.8 percent
  • Victims of shooting and stabbing – 15.4 percent
  • The untimely passing of a loved one – 14.3 percent
  • Parents whose children suffer from life-threatening conditions – 10.4 percent
  • Witnesses to violent acts – 7.3 percent
  • Victims of natural disasters – 3.8 percent

Based on surveys, approximately 3.6 percent of American people over the age of 18 had PTSD in the past year.  The severity of PTSD symptoms in adults is classified as severe, moderate, or mild, with roughly 36.6 percent of adults experiencing severe impairment, 33.1 percent experiencing moderate impairment, and 30.2 percent experiencing mild impairment. Individuals from all age groups can be affected by PTSD, despite the fact that most data focuses on adults.

The disorder can affect children, yet it’s also possible that it won’t manifest in a child until they are in their early 20s when their physical and mental development boosts up and they get mature.

Approximately 5 percent of adolescents suffer from PTSD. According to research, just 1.5 percent of adolescents with PTSD exhibit serious disabilities. Unsurprisingly, the frequency of PTSD among adolescents aged 13 to 14 is more than twice as high as it is among adolescents aged 13 to 14. In the 17-18 age bracket, the prevalence of PTSD rises to 7 percent.

The relationship between PTSD and domestic abuse and violence is undeniable, although PTSD may not necessarily occur immediately after abuse. The severity and duration of domestic violence, as well as the age of the victim, increase the likelihood of domestic abuse victims acquiring post-traumatic stress disorder.

A victim’s likelihood of developing PTSD is also affected by whether or not he or she thinks their life is in danger. The victim’s profound emotional connection with the perpetrator likely contributes significantly to the traumatizing nature of the violence.

Several researchers have investigated the frequency of PTSD among military veterans. We have accumulated statistics as a result of their work. Since the field of mental health, clinical psychology, and psychiatry have defined and analyzed PTSD in a variety of ways over time, the prevalence rate for veterans varies considerably.

According to a recent survey of 32 scholarly studies, the predicted prevalence of PTSD in veterans varies from 1.09 percent to 34.84 percent.

An estimated 12.9 percent of 5,826 U.S. veterans were diagnosed with PTSD, according to 2017 research. Compared to the prevalence of PTSD in the general population, this rate is shockingly high: just 8.7% of the U.S. population will have PTSD throughout their lifetimes. And approximately 3.6% of American adults suffer from PTSD in any given year.

In a 2014 study of 3,157 U.S. veterans, 87 percent reported having experienced at least one significantly traumatic experience in their lifetime. Veterans reported an average of 3.4 potentially traumatic incidents during their lifetimes.

Surprisingly, nearly one-quarter of women in the military have experienced sexual assault. 55 percent of the total female veterans and 38 percent of male veterans were sexually harassed while serving in the military.

Approximately 30 percent of Vietnam veterans suffer from PTSD. (American Psychological Association)

About 354 million adult war veterans worldwide suffer from PTSD and/or serious depression. (European Journal of Psychotraumatology)

In a survey of 1,938 veterans who had served in Iraq, the frequency of PTSD was found to be approximately 14 percent. (as per U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

In a 2003 publication by the American Journal of Epidemiology, a 10 percent prevalence of PTSD was projected for all Gulf War veterans.

Thirty-seven percent of World War II veterans and 80 percent of Korean War veterans who had earlier sought psychiatric care were currently affected by PTSD. 54 percent of mental patients who had served in combat during World War II fit the criteria for PTSD. The frequency of PTSD at the time was 27 percent.

It is common for many mental health conditions to co-occur with PTSD, due in part to the profound alterations in brain activity that result from the trauma that causes PTSD. The most prevalent symptoms associated with PTSD include the following:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Substance abuse disorders

In this section, we will discuss each condition in further depth.

PTSD & Depression

Every year, around one in ten people, experiences some sort of depressive disorder, making it a prevalent mental health problem. It is more prevalent among individuals who have endured stressful events.

As previously stated, PTSD and depression commonly occur together. Specifically, PTSD sufferers are three to five times more likely to experience depression.

PTSD & Suicide

People with PTSD who have difficulty expressing their emotions are more likely to commit suicide. Other common co-occurring disorders, like anxiety or depression, might have a detrimental effect on a person’s likelihood of committing suicide if they have the disorder.

PTSD & Trauma

PTSD and trauma are associated mostly due to the disruptions and alterations in brain chemistry brought on by trauma. The syndrome can be caused by traumas other than military conflict (for example, sexual abuse).

Nonetheless, there are more stressful situations that can lead to illness.

Forty-nine percent of victims of rape will get PTSD.

Almost 32 percent of victims of physical abuse will get PTSD.

PTSD affects 16.8 percent of those engaged in serious car accidents.

15.4 percent of victims of gun and knife violence suffer from PTSD.

14.3 percent of those who endure the unexpected and abrupt death of a close relative acquire PTSD.

Those who have seen a murder or serious harm to another other person are 7.3 percent more likely to get PTSD.

3.8 percent of people who endure natural catastrophes suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD & Anxiety

In the past, PTSD was classified as an anxiety illness due to the fact that PTSD and anxiety disorders share several symptoms, many of which might interfere with sleep and other physiological activities. For instance, an individual with PTSD-related anxiety may constantly feel on edge and be easily shocked.

Similarly, anxiety brought on by the condition can make it difficult for a person to focus and worsen their agitation.

PTSD and Drug Abuse

An estimated 46.4 percent of those diagnosed with the disorder also fit the criteria for a substance abuse disorder, according to one study. Another study indicated that females with this condition were 2.48 times more prone to abusing alcohol than males with this disorder.

PTSD can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Although there are other types of psychotherapy used to manage the disease, trauma-focused psychotherapies administered by a mental health professional are the most advised.

This is mostly due to the fact that this sort of treatment helps people process their experiences by focusing on the recollection of the traumatic incident or its significance.

According to research, up to 46 percent of those diagnosed with the illness see improvement during the first 6 weeks of psychotherapy.

Antidepressants are another therapy option for alleviating the symptoms of PTSD, especially anxiety. Interestingly, research indicates that up to 62 percent of PTSD patients who take medication improve. (American Family Physician)

If you’re curious about the prevalence of PTSD among first responders, this section provides the most recent statistics.

Interestingly, over 80 percent of first responders are exposed to traumatic events on the job. They are at significant risk of getting PTSD as a work-related disability or ailment due to the hard and dangerous scenarios they experience.

Based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 30 percent of first responders acquire behavioral health disorders, such as PTSD and depression, compared to 20 percent of the overall population.

According to studies, between 7 and 37 percent of firemen currently fulfill the diagnostic criteria for PTSD.

Five to six years after the horrific event, over 21 percent of people registered in the WTC Health Registry developed new PTSD symptoms. The prevalence of PTSD among locals rose from over 13 percent 2-3 years after the bombings to over 16 percent 5-6 years later. The primary risk factors that contributed to 9/11 were:

  • Intense cloud of dust exposure
  • Returning to a residence covered in a thick coating of dust
  • Experiencing horror
  • Lost jobs
  • Insufficient social support

Treatment for PTSD has become increasingly accessible, and treatment statistics show a favorable prognosis. 

Within 6 weeks of starting psychotherapy, as many as 46 percent of individuals with PTSD improved, according to one research. 

Researchers have discovered that as many as 62 percent of PTSD patients who take medication see improvement. The medical authorities acknowledge and advise veterans’ need for PTSD therapy, and PTSD treatment is now accessible at primary healthcare facilities.

In recent times, the prognosis for PTSD has improved as academic and medical experts have discovered progressively effective treatments. The prognosis for PTSD is favorable over the long term, and treatment usually reduces symptoms or eliminates the disorder.

The prognostic data for PTSD highlights the significance of getting treatment. Those with PTSD who received treatment experienced symptoms for an average of three years, compared to 64 months for those who didn’t seek treatment. In spite of the fact that around one-third of individuals do not achieve complete symptom relief with treatment, the majority of people see a considerable reduction in the severity of their symptoms.

The prognosis can be improved by:

  • Prompt engagement in treatment
  • Social Support systems
  • Avoiding re-traumatization
  • A high degree of functioning prior to PTSD’s emergence
  • Absence of additional mental disorders



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