Predictor models have consistently found that childhood trauma, chronic adversity, and familial stressors increase risk for PTSD as well as risk for biological markers of risk for PTSD after a traumatic event in adulthood.An individual that has been exposed to domestic violence is predisposed to the development of PTSD.However, the majority of people who experience this type of event will not go on to develop PTSD.An analysis from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys found a 5.2% risk of developing PTSD after learning of the unexpected death of a loved one.For twin pairs exposed to combat in Vietnam, having a monozygotic (identical) twin with PTSD was associated with an increased risk of the co-twin's having PTSD compared to twins that were dizygotic (non-identical twins).There is evidence that those with a genetically smaller hippocampus are more likely to develop PTSD following a traumatic event.
PTSD symptoms include re-experiencing the assault, avoiding things associated with the assault, numbness, and increased anxiety and an increased startle response.
The likelihood of sustained symptoms of PTSD is higher if the rapist confined or restrained the person, if the person being raped believed the rapist would kill him or her, the person who was raped was very young or very old, and if the rapist was someone he or she knew.
The likelihood of sustained severe symptoms is also higher if people around the survivor ignore (or are ignorant of) the rape or blame the rape survivor.
The maintenance of fear has been shown to include the HPA axis, the locus coeruleus-noradrenergic systems, and the connections between the limbic system and frontal cortex.
The HPA axis that coordinates the hormonal response to stress, This over-consolidation increases the likelihood of one's developing PTSD.