Interpersonal vs. non-interpersonal traumas

What are trauma characteristics?

For a person to be diagnosed with PTSD, exposure to at least one trauma is required. Traumas as determined by the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) include being exposed to threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence. Examples include directly being involved in the trauma, witnessing the trauma, or learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma.

Interpersonal traumas are those that involve interaction with other people, such as domestic abuse, while non-interpersonal traumas are those that do not involve interaction with other people, such as natural disasters.

What is the evidence for PTSD in people exposed to interpersonal versus non-interpersonal traumas?

Moderate quality evidence finds the incidence of PTSD following interpersonal trauma is around 25%, and around 10% following non-interpersonal trauma.

In boys, the incidence of PTSD following interpersonal trauma is around 17%, and around 8% following non-interpersonal trauma. In girls, the incidence of PTSD following interpersonal trauma is around 33%, and around 13% following non-interpersonal trauma.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 12:41 am, 6th August 2021
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