Critical Analysis of Classical and Novel Risk Factors to Post-traumatic Stress Disorders in military populations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Psychological trauma can affect vulnerable individuals, groups, communities and even generations, and the cause of psychological trauma can be broadly categorized as those caused by human activity or through natural causes . PTSD heavily impacts the physical and mental health of these individuals as well as their socioeconomic relationships. The relationship between psychological trauma and its link with PTSD and later suicide has been well documented in clinical literature. This current systematic review looks at identifying and understanding the risk factors that lead to PTSD, as well as and the association between PTSD and suicide.. We also draw focus on the veteran population because these military personnel are more likely to experience psychological trauma through their professional activities like war and combat and personal risk factors such as childhood trauma. Studies have identified pre-, peri-, and post-traumatic risk factors. Pre-traumatic risks include genetic predispositions, Sociodemographic factors, medical history of disease, and history of combat; peri-traumatic factors refer to deployment experiences; and post-traumatic factors include combat injuries, lack of social/economic support systems and medical comorbidities. Clinical biomarkers have also been used to diagnose and prognosticate PTSD, which we also discuss in this review. Understanding PTSD risk factors can lead to early treatment of PTSD and, as a result, prevent the progression to suicide.