What is trauma and ptsd?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that occurs after a person experiences a traumatic event. Everyone copes in their own way, so a traumatic event such as violence, war or a natural disaster can cause PTSD in one person and not another. PTSD symptoms may also vary from one person to the next depending on the impact of the trauma.
PTSD is a lasting, lingering consequence of a traumatic event. Symptoms often imitate other anxiety disorders, leaving a person unable to live a healthy life. It is caused by intense fear, helplessness or horror. People commonly experience PTSD after violence, assault, abuse, an accident, a natural disaster or even after a loved one is harmed or in danger.
PTSD symptoms are most likely to begin within 3-6 months of the event; however there are cases where individuals do not develop PTSD for years after the event. Like all mental illnesses, the severity and frequency of the symptoms varies from person to person. Generally speaking, the following are common PTSD symptoms:
- Flashbacks, hallucinations, nightmares or reliving the ordeal through thoughts with distress
- Avoidance of places, people and situations that remind them of the trauma
- Detachment and isolation from others
- Problems socializing in groups, difficulty showing affection or emotion, or exhibiting excessive emotional responses
- Changes in sleeping patterns, irritability, outbursts of anger or violence
- Feeling tense, stressed or constantly on edge