PTSD – What is it?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that is triggered by a terrifying event by either witnessing or experiencing it. It is quite normal after experiencing a traumatic event to have trouble adjusting and coping for a while. However, if those who have suffered a traumatic event have trouble coping or have symptoms that last for months or even years, it is possible that they are suffering from PTSD. Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop is crucial to effectively reduce symptoms and improve function.


Cause

It is not known what causes PTSD to develop in certain individuals. As is the case with most psychiatric disorders, it is believed that PTSD is probably caused by a complex mix of life experiences, the way your brain regulates chemicals and hormones in response to stress, and genetics.


Symptoms

The following are the most commonly reported symptoms of PTSD:

Re-experiencing symptoms

  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts.

Avoidance symptoms

  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.

Hyperarousal symptoms

  • angry-manBeing easily startled
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Having angry outbursts.