Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a natural emotional response to actual or threatened serious harm to oneself or others. PTSD can affect people of any age, gender and culture. PTSD can happen if someone has directly experienced the traumatic event(s), learn that the traumatic event(s) happened to a close family member or close friend. Also, witnessing a traumatic event (s) as they occurred to others, experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) like first responders. PTSD symptoms may not appear until several months, even years. PTSD can disrupt people's everyday activities or ability to function.

 

PTSD can lead to:

Intrusion

  • Flashbacks

  • Vivid memories of the event(s)

  • Nightmares about the event(s)

  • Intense mental or physical distress when thinking about the event (s)

 

Avoidance

Avoidance or efforts to avoid people, places, objects, conversations, memories, thoughts, feelings or situations that remind the event(s)

 

Arousal and reactivity

  • Irritability and anger

  • Trouble concentring

  • Hypervigilance

  • Exaggerated startle response

  • Sleep disturbance

 

Cognition and mood

  • Intense feeling of sadness, fear, guilt, shame or confusion

  • Negative thoughts about oneself

  • Substantial reduction in expression of positive emotions

  • Social withdrawn behaviour

  • Trouble remembering important parts of the event

In addition, people with PTSD may experience depression, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal behaviours and other mental health issues.