Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder nightmares do not just appear in anyone. The individual has most likely experienced a serious traumatic event and is now reliving that event through their nightmares and flashbacks. Below are some common themes from patients who have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and experience PTSD nightmares regularly.
· Individuals with more present vulnerability from past traumas experienced are more like to encounter PTSD nightmares. Character pathology, current everyday stressors, and a poor support network and treatment options also have an effect on who develops PTSD nightmares.
· Those individuals who suffered more overwhelming traumas with a higher threat of physical or emotional injury. Such individuals could include those who were very close or in ground zero when the September 11th attack occurred.
· Individuals whose traumas occurred at vulnerable and growing stages in their lives. This would include very young soldiers who are sent to fight in a war.
· Individuals who lack a network of trustworthy and helpful social and emotional support resources.
· Individuals who are near-miss survivors of a traumatic event and now receive no validation and have to deal with the hidden wounds of their personal survivor guilt.