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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a condition that some people develop after experiencing a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people will recover from those symptoms naturally.

People who develop PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are no longer in danger. The symptoms usually begin within 3 months (even later) of the traumatic incident and last more than a month. They can be severe enough to interfere with functioning in relationships or work, and may include:

  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma
  • Bad dreams and frightening thoughts
  • Avoiding places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
  • Being easily startled, feeling tense, or ‘on edge’
  • Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts
  • Trouble remembering the key features of the traumatic event
  • Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
  • Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some experiences, like the sudden or unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD. If you think you or someone you know might be experiencing PTSD, talk to a qualified mental health professional. 

 

Adapted from: National Institutes of Health, retrieved from https://bit.ly/2yorwzT on 6/6/18