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At a glance: What is post-traumatic stress disorder

FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: April 16, 2013
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AT A GLANCE

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which there was the potential for or actual occurrence of grave physical harm. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents and military combat. People with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal, may experience sleep problems, feel detached or numb or be easily startled.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories.

1. Re-experiencing symptoms: Flashbacks — reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating; bad dreams; frightening thoughts.

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