Carrying my father's service
04:31 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

A new study adds evidence to a possible genetic risk for developing PTSD

The risk arises after a psychologically traumatic experience

No individual genes have been identified, but researchers hope to find out more

CNN  — 

Christal Presley considers herself a survivor of the Vietnam War, even though the war ended years before she was born.

Her father was a Vietnam veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. At times, he carried his rifle through the house, threatening to shoot himself in the head.

During and after the war, he used alcohol to numb the pain; as Presley grew up, so did she.

“I’ve always felt like I inherited this sadness that wasn’t my own,” said Presley, 38, now a teacher in Atlanta.