Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. PTSD is believed to affect about 1 in 3 persons who have had a traumatic experience.
The type of events that can cause PTSD may include:
- serious road accidents
- violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
- prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect
- witnessing violent deaths
- military combat
- being held hostage
- terrorist attacks
- natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis
How does Post Traumatic Stress Disorder develop?
PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.
Someone with PTSD will often relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.
Read more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.