1. Health

The Effect of PTSD on Different Parts of Your Life


Updated December 20, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

The effect of PTSD on your life is great. The re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal symptoms of PTSD can have a tremendous impact on the quality of your life. They can interfere with work, school, relationships, and your own mental and physical health. This article reviews some of the many ways PTSD can have a negative impact on your life.

The Effect of PTSD on a Person's Life

The effect of PTSD can be far-reaching. In particular, PTSD can negatively effect a person's mental health, physical health, work, and relationships. For example, studies have found that people with PTSD are at heightened risk for developing other anxiety disorders, major depression, or substance use disorders. It has also been found that people with PTSD are at high risk for developing certain physical health problems, such as heart disease. Some of the difficulties that people with PTSD experience in these areas are discussed in more detail in this article.

Learning Difficulties in PTSD

People with PTSD experience a number of different learning difficulties. First, many people with PTSD experience difficulties with their memory. PTSD has also been found to have a negative impact on attention. In fact, concentration difficulties is even considered one symptom of PTSD. This article reviews some of the learning difficulties that people with PTSD may experience, as well as why these difficulties develop.

Symptoms of PTSD and Delinquency Among Boys

The consequences of being exposed to a traumatic event, including PTSD, are more commonly studied among adults; however, traumatic exposure and symptoms of PTSD in children can also occur. Children who have a history of traumatic exposure and PTSD are more likely to show problematic and delinquent behavior, such as substance abuse, breaking the law, skipping school, and aggression. This article reviews research on the relationship between PTSD and delinquency among boys. Reasons why PTSD may lead to delinquent behavior are also presented.

Negative Effect of PTSD and Past PTSD on Your Life

The symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can disrupt many parts of a person’s life; therefore, it is not surprising that study after study has shown that the negative effect of PTSD on a person’s life can be tremendous. What about people who have recovered from PTSD? When thinking about the effect of PTSD, we often focus our attention on people who are currently struggling with the disorder. Do people who no longer have a diagnosis of PTSD (because of successful treatment or some other reason) show the same problems in their life as people who currently have PTSD? This article addresses this question.

Self-Destructive Behaviors in PTSD

People with PTSD may be at heightened risk to engage in a number of different self-destructive behaviors. When you think about the symptoms of PTSD, this makes a lot of sense. People with PTSD experience very strong, frequent, and unpleasant emotions and thoughts, which may increase the likelihood that they will rely on unhealthy coping strategies, such as deliberate self-harm or substance abuse. Although these behaviors may reduce distress in the moment, they have many long-term negative consequences. This article reviews some common self-destructive behaviors, such as substance use and deliberate self-harm, seen among people with PTSD.

PTSD and Relationship Violence

There is a relationship between the experience of a traumatic event, PTSD and domestic violence. In fact, intimate partner abuse happens more than you may think. National estimates indicate that, in a period of one year, 8 to 21% of people in a serious relationship will have engaged in some kind of violent act aimed at an intimate partner. Relationship violence has also been found among people who have experienced certain traumatic events or have PTSD. This article reviews the relationship between PTSD and relationship violence. It also discusses why some people with PTSD may exhibit aggressive behavior whereas others may not.

PTSD and Anxiety Disorders

PTSD is itself considered an anxiety disorder. However, there are other anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobia. People with PTSD have been found to be at high risk for developing other anxiety disorders. This article provides an overview of the different anxiety disorders that often occur among people with PTSD.

PTSD and Major Depression

Everyone feels sad from time to time. Depression is different from just feeling unhappy or sad. Depression is more intense, lasts longer, and has a large negative impact on a person's life. Depression is one of the most commonly occurring disorders in PTSD. Learn more about the connection between PTSD and depression in this article.

PTSD and Other Mental Health Disorders

PTSD and other disorders often co-occur. In fact, studies have shown that people with PTSD are at very high risk to develop a number of other mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders, depression, borderline personality disorder, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. The co-occurrence of PTSD and another disorder can have a negative impact on the treatment of PTSD and quality of life. This article presents information on the relationship between PTSD and a variety of other mental health disorders, such as eating disorders and borderline personality disorder.

PTSD and Your Physical Health

Study after study has found that people with PTSD are at greater risk for developing a number of physical health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, migraines, and pain. Poor physical health can have a major impact on your quality of life. Learn more about the connection between PTSD and certain physical health problems here.
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD)
  4. Related Conditions
  5. Effect of PTSD - Effect of PTSD on Your Life

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.