What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
PTSD is a mental health condition. Mental health conditions are problems with the way you think and feel.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder which people develop after being involved in, or witnessing, traumatic events.
What causes PTSD?
PTSD was first recognised in war veterans and was known as ‘shell shock’. Now, it is not only diagnosed in soldiers – it is understood any experience someone may find traumatic can cause PTSD.
This can include:
- Violent attacks, such as a robbery or a sexual assault
- Car accidents
- Childbirth and medical emergencies
- Severe neglect and abuse.
Around 1 in 3 people who experience something traumatic will develop PTSD, sometimes months or years after the incident.
What are the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder?
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Reliving a traumatic event, often via vivid flashbacks and nightmares
- Panicking when reminded of or remembering the trauma
- Feeling ‘on edge’ and alert
- Avoiding feelings and memories of the incident, or feeling numb
- Concentration difficulties
- Feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt