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Common Causes of PTSD among Professionals

One of the many misconceptions about PTSD is that you must be of a certain demographic to experience it. Some people assume that those of a higher socioeconomic status do not have to deal with traumas, PTSD—or other Mental Health Disorders, for that matter. This is, of course, untrue. Trauma can happen to anyone. Irrelevant of your profession, socioeconomic background, marital status, or age, anyone can experience traumas or develop PTSD as a result. In fact, many people from higher socioeconomic status or professional experience unique forms of trauma due to their socioeconomic status.  

Understanding the common causes of PTSD among professionals and higher socioeconomic backgrounds makes it easier to identify and address the unique challenges professionals, entrepreneurs or business owners might face with traumas or PTSD. Read on to learn more about how high net worth, high-pressure careers, professional demands, and other factors affect one’s experience with PTSD. 

PTSD Can Affect Anyone 

Most people associate PTSD with violent trauma that someone experiences directly, such as military combat, natural disasters, or violent crimes. However, you can suffer from a variety of traumas and also develop PTSD after experiencing a host of non-violent events. Highly stressful situations, frightening experiences, or emotional traumas—such as a manipulative partner or the death of a loved one—can all lead to the development of PTSD. 

As a result, PTSD can occur in any demographic, age group, or socioeconomic background among all professionals. Though higher net-worth individuals are likely to have consistent shelter, physical comforts, and financial security that less fortunate individuals do not always have access to, they can still experience traumas, PTSD or other Mental Health Disorders, addictions, and adverse conditions. This reality means they can still develop PTSD for any of the same reasons others do. 

Career-Associated Traumas 

There are also some causes of PTSD that are more common for those among higher net-worth backgrounds, professionals, business owners, and corporate executives, including a host of traumas that stem from high-stress careers. Many high-paying jobs—including doctors, lawyers, business owners, or C-suite executives—involve extreme responsibility, very long hours, hard decisions, and a variety of sources of constant stressors.  

Moreover, careers like these often create a vicious negative cycle with PTSD and other Mental Health Disorders. Professionals in these fields are under much pressure to work hard and perform well, which means they are more likely to ignore their Mental Health needs and put off treatment. As a result, their Mental Health, Mood Disorders, Addictions, and relationship difficulties worsen over time, adversely affecting their performance at work. This change leads to even greater pressure in their professional lives, causing them to work longer hours and continue ignoring their need for treatment.  

It is important to understand how PTSD shows up in professionals and high-paying careers. It allows us to identify, address, and treat this disorder. Below are just a few examples of the role traumas or PTSD play in high-stress careers that are common among professionals, C-Suite Executives, business owners, and higher net-worth individuals. 

PTSD among Doctors 

Becoming a doctor is a noble but difficult career path. It can put you in proximity to a host of illnesses, sufferings, pain, and death on a regular basis. Many doctors, physicians, and surgeons develop traumas or PTSD after treating trauma victims, witnessing traumas, pain, suffering, or the death of a patient.  

Periods of feeling extremely stressed and overwhelmed can also lead to the development of traumas or PTSD. For example, instances of traumas or PTSD increased among healthcare workers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the rapidly emerging illness stretched hospital resources extremely thin. 

PTSD among Lawyers 

A lawyer’s job is to understand all the facts of the case so that they can represent their client fairly and successfully. However, in learning the details of what happened to their clients, lawyers often expose themselves to traumatic events and negative experiences. Many lawyers try to ignore their own reactions to trauma because they are not experiencing it firsthand. But hearing detailed accounts of violent crimes, gross negligence, and other disturbing events takes a toll on their Mental Health and leads to experiencing traumas or developing PTSD. 

PTSD among C-Suite Executives  

CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and other C-Suite executives tend to have strong type-A personalities. Many people among C-Suite Executives are high achievers, perfectionists, or those who need to feel in control. These characteristics make them effective leaders, but they also make failure and stress difficult to deal with. Furthermore, running a business comes with immense responsibility. Any problem that arises can adversely affect you, your business, performance, relationships, functioning, and every employee beneath you. It is a huge weight on your shoulders—one that can lead to consistent, overwhelming stress, which can develop into Anxiety Disorders, Addictions, relationship discords, insomnia, maladaptive behaviors, traumas, or PTSD. 

High-Pressure Family Environments 

PTSD can also stem from high-pressure family environments. Children of affluent families and more privileged backgrounds often face extreme expectations and high pressure to live up to their parent’s expectations and desires. These stressors might include following a specific career path, maintaining a strict persona, family’s reputation, or simply trying to meet consistently high and unrealistic expectations from their parents. This, combined with the potential for strict punishment if you mess up, can lead to trauma in childhood and adolescence that continues to affect you as an adult. 

Trauma, Attachment Disorders, and Childhood Neglect 

Children of professional parents or high net-worth individuals also often experience higher rates of loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety, traumas, and emotional neglect during childhood. Though children from higher socioeconomic backgrounds have consistent access to food, clothes, shelter, and physical comforts, they may lack a close bond with their parents and attachment figures. The lack of emotional support from attachment figures, parents, or family members can lead to an insecure attachment style, which, in turn, makes these individuals susceptible to trauma and its lingering effects. 

Greater Access to Maladaptive Coping Techniques 

Another common cause of PTSD among high net-worth individuals and higher socioeconomic backgrounds is the relationship between wealth and access to a bigger playground of maladaptive behaviors, a variety of addictions, and poor coping mechanisms, such as self-medicating and numbing behaviors to disassociate/detach from their pain or suffering. Access to wealth, money, and social connections can make it easier to abuse alcohol, drugs, and other substances or activities that lead to a variety of Addiction Disorders. These Addiction Disorders can exacerbate traumas and lead to the development of PTSD. 

Take Alcohol Addiction as an example. An affluent individual who feels unable to manage their stressors might turn to alcohol, drugs, abusing prescription drugs, gambling, porn, sex, traveling, bar hopping, or shopping sprees as a maladaptive coping mechanism.  

They might also have a flexible career and financial situation that allows them to call in sick or come in late because of a hangover with no serious consequences. If they get in trouble with the law, they can pay off fines or hire a good criminal attorney more readily available to them as opposed to someone from a lower socioeconomic background. All these factors make it easier to develop Addictions without serious consequences until it is too late and too costly. 

Dealing With Social Stigma 

Another reason why traumas or PTSD might manifest differently among high net-worth individuals, professionals, business owners, and C-Suite Executives is because of a lack of necessary Mental Health intervention and Addiction treatment. Though professionals and executives from higher net-worth can afford the highest quality of mental health care, intensive interventions for Addiction Disorders and childhood traumas, or have access to Concierge treatment, social stigmas or loss of potential confidentiality often prevents them from seeking professional interventions. There is a common misconception that being wealthy or highly educated makes you immune to stressors, traumas, PTSD, Mood Disorders, Addictions, relationship difficulties, and other Mental Health Conditions. This falsehood creates an idea that professionals, highly educated or wealthy individuals do not need to seek professional interventions or receive necessary treatments when indicated.   

As a result, many people from high net-worth or professional backgrounds avoid seeking the interventions for their mental health disorders that they desperately need and deserve. Without treatment, their PTSD can become severe, and symptoms may have a negative impact on their quality of life, functioning at-work and at-home. 

Find Treatment Catered To Your Needs 

At Blair Wellness Group, we have experience working with clients from professional backgrounds and high net-worth individuals to overcome Mental Health Disorders, Personality Disorders, Addiction Issues, Attachment Disorders, PTSD and other Trauma Disorders. Find Trauma Therapy in Beverly Hills and Orange County when you book a discreet and Concierge appointment with Blair Wellness Group today. 

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