Proximal cause: exposure to traumatic event.
Severity of trauma contributes to etiology, however doesn't account for all the variance. Even in cases of severe trauma not everyone develops PTSD (underlying vulnerability needed).
- Distal cause: emerging evidence for pre-trauma psychological and biological vulnerability factors:
- ~ Psychiatric dysfunction before trauma
- ~ Pre-trauma psychosocial functioning (if low increases risk of developing PTSD)
- ~ Family history of PTSD/anxiety
Social factors: strong social support decreases likelihood of PTSD.