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Why is PTSD More Prevalent in Certain Professions?

Every occupation presents unique challenges. Your career path can considerably impact your mental health and well-being. PTSD is a mental health condition that is more prevalent than many people realize, and it is often a result of the work people do.

Within certain professions, there is an increased risk of exposure to disturbing or traumatic events. Because of this, it is crucial to raise awareness of PTSD as it relates to workplace trauma.

Understanding PTSD and which professions provide a greater risk of PTSD is essential so you can make the best career decisions for your mental wellness and reach out for support when necessary.

In Which Professions Do Individuals More Commonly Have PTSD?

Professions that involve doing dangerous or intense activities are more likely to cause PTSD. There are several jobs in which people are exposed to or witness distressing events, and these can negatively impact long-term mental health. The following career paths are most commonly associated with PTSD, and below, we explain why.


Those in the military are most at risk for PTSD, given the nature of their role. Soldiers often receive orders that conflict with their desires or morals, but they must fulfill them anyway.

The intense stress of combat, the fear of injury or death, and the loss of comrades can deeply affect one's mental well-being. Moreover, the transition from the battlefield to civilian life can also be challenging, as military members may struggle to readjust to normalcy after experiencing such intense and prolonged periods of stress and danger.

The memories of combat can linger long after deployment, causing distressing flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts. Therefore, it's crucial for military personnel to receive proper support and mental health resources to address and cope with the psychological impact of their service. At Jackson House, we have a veterans program designed to help and support those struggling due to their military experiences.

EMTs or Medical Professionals

Another profession in which PTSD tends to appear is in the field of medicine. EMTs, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are regularly exposed to injury, illness, addiction, trauma, and death, which can take a toll on the mind.

Witnessing the suffering of patients, making life-or-death decisions, and experiencing high-pressure situations contribute to the development of PTSD symptoms among medical professionals. Additionally, the long hours, demanding schedules, and emotional strain of caring for others can be taxing.

If you work in the medical field and are struggling with mental health, it’s important to seek help and support to address these challenges effectively.

Police Officers

Many police officers also have PTSD caused by experiences on the job.

Police officers often face situations where they are exposed to violence, witness traumatic events, or are involved in life-threatening confrontations. They may also experience high levels of stress due to the pressure of the job, the need to make split-second decisions, and the constant vigilance required to ensure public safety.

Additionally, the cumulative effect of dealing with societal issues such as crime, poverty, and substance abuse can contribute to the development of PTSD among law enforcement personnel. The nature of police work can lead to a heightened sense of hypervigilance, emotional numbing, and difficulty in trusting others.

If you are a police officer experiencing any of these symptoms, seeking support can contribute to a greater sense of well-being.


Many firefighters also experience PTSD due to the demanding and traumatic nature of their work. They regularly confront harrowing situations, including battling intense fires, rescuing individuals from burning buildings, and witnessing the aftermath of devastating accidents or natural disasters.

The inherent risks of firefighting, coupled with the emotional strain of witnessing suffering and loss, can have a profound impact on their mental well-being. Additionally, firefighters often work long hours in high-stress environments, which can exacerbate symptoms of PTSD.

The repeated exposure to traumatic events, coupled with the physical demands of the job and the pressure to perform under extreme conditions, can lead to the development of PTSD symptoms such as intrusive memories, hypervigilance, and emotional numbing.

Where to Turn for Professional PTSD Support

If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD caused by your profession, Jackson House can help. Our team of dedicated, caring experts can provide you with the tools and support you need to lead a more peaceful life. Contact us today to learn about our programs.

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

It's time to feel better

We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.