Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in response to a shocking and frightening event. This event can include being exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual assault. Examples of such events include exposure to violence, natural disasters, and car accidents.
It is expected that people will experience anxiety during and immediately following a traumatic event. PTSD refers to when a person continues to experience persistent, stress-related symptoms for more than six months after the traumatic event.
PTSD symptoms include:
● Re-experiencing the traumatic memory in a disturbing way
● Avoiding thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind the individual of the event
● Experiencing intense, negative emotions or thoughts associated with the event (e.g. feeling depressed or thinking it’s your fault)
● Feeling extremely sensitive to your surroundings, on high alert to any potential danger
It is common for individuals with PTSD to develop a co-occurring psychiatric condition, such as Major Depressive Disorder (link to other page), an anxiety disorder (link to other page), and quite commonly individuals with PTSD can develop a substance use issue (link to other page). There are multiple effective treatment interventions for PTSD including both psychotherapy and medical treatments.