PTSD is a medical diagnosis, established in 1980, defining symptoms that last at least a month after experiencing a major trauma. These symptoms include remembering or reliving the trauma when you do not choose to; feeling numb and withdrawn; and, having forms of anxiety that interfere with daily life.“
Source : Dart Foundation
The mechanisms by which severe trauma can induce PTSD are still unclear.
Increasing levels of stress produce an inverted U-shaped effect on memory retention. Humans experiencing an acute trauma may develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the key contributions of trauma to PTSD formation are still unknown.”
Source : Journal of Neuroscience, 35 (48)
Further, some individuals go on to develop PTSD whilst others (exposed to the same stressing situations) do not :
Stress induces a shift from hippocampus-based “cognitive” toward dorsal striatum-based “habitual” learning and memory. This shift is thought to have important implications for stress-related psychopathologies, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, there is large individual variability in the stress-induced bias toward habit memory, and the factors underlying this variability are completely unknown.“
Journal of Neuroscience, 37 (8)
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