Post Traumatic Disorder or PTSD is an anxiety disorder which is triggered by a person who has undergone, experienced or witnessed a traumatic, terrifying event. The symptoms can last for months and even years, including flashbacks, nightmares, amplified reactions to certain triggers or stimuli and intense anxiety. Events that can trigger PTSD could be death of someone, natural disasters, violence, abuse of some sort, serious injury, sexual violence or a terrorist attack. An individual with PTSD will still get bothered by the thoughts, memories and images of that traumatic event if it has passed. Some people undergoing traumatic events only have temporary difficulty adjusting but when the symptoms persist and affect the day to day life activities then this mental condition is termed as PTSD. PTSD occurs between 7-8% population and women and more likely to be affected than by men.
Symptoms of PTSD surface from 1-3 months after the traumatic event has occurred. Sometimes symptoms occur years later. These symptoms are considered as symptoms of PTSD if they last for more than a month and start affecting day to day life activities and relationships. The symptoms of PTSD are categorized into 4 different types: Intrusion, Avoidance, Arousal and reactivity and Mood and Cognition symptoms.
Flashbacks that feel real
Repetition of involuntary images and memories
Avoiding reminders or triggers like people, place etc that remind the individual of the traumatic event
Refusal to talk about the traumatic event or their feelings
Arousal and reactivity symptoms:
Difficulty falling asleep
Feeling tense and anxious about possible dangers
Cognition and mood:
Difficulty remembering some features of the traumatic event
Feeling guilty and blaming themselves
Loss of interest in life and enjoyable activities
Feeling distorted and estranged emotionally
Loss of concentration
Seeking effective treatment can help reduce the symptoms of PTSD.
Treatment such as screening, medication, therapies such as psychotherapy, talk therapy, exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring might help the individual.