PTSD Statistics

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.

How does it affect the human body?

Physical symptoms include the following:

  • Night terrors and insomnia, which lead to fatigue and difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation and anxiety, especially in unfamiliar places
  • Having an extreme startle reflex, this could result in rage or further withdrawing
  • Withdrawing from social situations, or even personal relationships
  • Anger, rage, and mood swings
  • Feelings of being numb or otherwise disconnected from reality and those around you
  • Aches and pains that have no other explanation
  • Racing heart, high blood pressure, and diabetics may find their blood sugar levels difficult to control
  • Chronic health conditions related to stress

General PTSD Stats

  • 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. That’s 223.4 million people.
  • Up to 20% of these people go on to develop PTSD. As of today, that’s 31.3 million people who did or are struggling with PTSD.
  • An estimated 8% of Americans – that’s 24.4 million people – have PTSD at any given time.
  • An estimated 1 out of 10 women develops PTSD. Women are about twice as likely as men to develop PTSD.
  • Among people who are victims of a severe traumatic experience 60 – 80% will develop PTSD.
  • Almost 50% of all outpatient mental health patients have PTSD.

Combat PTSD Stats

  • Lifetime occurrence (prevalence) in combat veterans 10 – 30%.
  • In the past year alone the number of diagnosed cases in the military jumped 50% – and that’s just diagnosed cases.
  • Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD.
  • 20% of the soldiers who’ve been deployed in the past 6 years have PTSD. That’s over 300,000.
  • 17% of combat troops are women; 71% of female military personnel develop PTSD due to sexual assault within the ranks.

Doing the breakdown by war:
Afghanistan = 6 – 11% returning vets have PTSD
Iraq = 12 – 20% returning vets have PTSD
(Military statistics as of 12/2010)

Teens and Children PTSD Stats

  • 15-43% of girls and 14-43% of boys will experience a traumatic event
  • 3-15% girls and 1-6% of boys will develop PTSD
  • As many as 30 – 60% of children who have survived specific disasters have PTSD
  • According to the National Center for PTSD: “Rates of PTSD are much higher in children and adolescents recruited from at-risk samples. The rates of PTSD in these at-risk children and adolescents vary from 3 to 100%.”
  • 3 – 6% of high school students in the U.S. who survive specific disaster develop PTSD
  • More than 33% of youths exposed to community violence experience PTSD
  • According the the National Center for PTSD: “Studies have shown that as many as 100% of children who witness a parental homicide or sexual assault develop PTSD. Similarly, 90% of sexually abused children, 77% of children exposed to a school shooting, and 35% of urban youth exposed to community violence develop PTSD.”

PTSD Facts

  • PTSD is real and can lead ordinary people to make rash decisions and act inappropriately.
  • Many people suffer from PTSD, as noted in the statistics listed above.
  • PTSD can show up at ANY time. Some symptoms can happen the very day of the traumatic event, but often symptoms won’t show up until many years later until they are triggered by something.
  • PTSD affects people of every class and status in life.
  • PTSD is a disorder that is treatable and, with the Lord’s help, curable.