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.
2. Avoidance symptoms: Staying away from places, events or objects that are reminders of the experience; feeling emotionally numb; feeling strong guilt, depression or worry.
3. Hyperarousal symptoms: Being easily startled; feeling tense or “on edge”; having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.
How is PTSD treated?
The main treatments for people with PTSD are psychotherapy (“talk” therapy), medications, or both. Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health care provider who is experienced with PTSD. Some people with PTSD need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms.
Source: National Institute
of Mental Health