Can adults develop ptsd later in life?

Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. This includes combat veterans, as well as people who have experienced or witnessed physical or sexual assault, abuse, accident, disaster, terrorist attack, or other serious events. People who have post-traumatic stress disorder may feel stressed or scared, even when they are no longer in danger. PTSD in old age can be the result of trauma that occurred much earlier, or it can follow traumatic events that occurred for the first time in old age.

When trauma occurred when the person was younger, PTSD in old age could represent a resurgence after a period of prolonged inactivity or be the continuation of a chronic disorder experienced throughout adult life. The DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder in older adults are no different from those in other age groups, with the exception of the modified criteria for preschoolers aged 6 years and younger. PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disruptive event, or it can occur weeks, months, or even years later.


stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing or witnessing severe trauma.

You can develop post-traumatic stress disorder if you have been directly involved in a serious traumatic event or if you have witnessed a traumatic event. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening, or distressing events. Health status and stigma seeking treatment in older adults with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorders. A phase 3 program of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Carole Gitlin
Carole Gitlin

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