Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder, often called PTSD, can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events.

While most people who experience such events recover from them, people with PTSD continue to experience symptoms such as depression and anxiety for months or even years following the event.

PTSD is characterized by three main types of symptoms:

  • Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares
  • Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma
  • Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered