Q: Is it possible to force mental illnesses on someone?   

A: It is possible to force people, especially children, to experience traumatic experiences that increase the risk of developing mental illness. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study by CDC-Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest, including some 17,000 participants who have been followed for years. ACEs are traumatic experiences that occur before the age of 18. These experiences range from verbal, mental, physical/sexual abuse, to being exposed to alcoholism, drug use, neglect, and domestic violence at home. The more ACEs a child experiences growing up, the higher their risk of developing mental illness throughout life. In the military, estimates are 30 percent of Viet Nam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.