It’s important to understand what happens in a trauma experience. Whenever a person is in a situation that is a threat to their life (whether or not they are physically harmed), emotionally painful, frightening, or intensely stressful, they can be traumatized. This includes being threatened, even if the trauma event does not occur. It also includes witnessing trauma or threats.
Just because you go through a traumatic event doesn’t mean that you are doomed to develop PTSD. It depends on your personal response to what has happened. If your feelings of fear, helplessness, or hopelessness continue or intensify, PTSD may be the issue.