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What is Post Traumatic Stress

What is Post Traumatic Stress

What is Post Traumatic Stress

What is Post Traumatic Stress

What is Post Traumatic Stress. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, such as combat, sexual assault, natural disasters, or accidents. PTSD is characterised by a range of symptoms that can interfere with an individual’s ability to function normally, including intrusive thoughts or memories, hyperarousal, and avoidance.

Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person, but some common signs include:

  1. Intrusive thoughts or memories: The individual may experience unwanted memories or flashbacks of the traumatic event, which can be distressing and overwhelming.

  2. Hyperarousal: The individual may feel constantly on edge, irritable, or easily startled. They may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating.

  3. Avoidance: The individual may try to avoid anything that reminds them of the traumatic event, such as people, places, or activities.

  4. Negative changes in thinking or mood: The individual may experience feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness. They may also have difficulty experiencing positive emotions or feeling a sense of connection with others.

Causes of PTSD

The exact cause of PTSD is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors. Some possible causes of PTSD include:

  1. Traumatic event: Exposure to a traumatic event is the primary risk factor for developing PTSD.

  2. Genetics: Some individuals may be more genetically predisposed to developing PTSD than others.

  3. Brain chemistry: Changes in the brain chemistry or structure may play a role in the development of PTSD.

  4. Environmental factors: The level of support an individual receives from their social network or access to mental health care may also influence the development of PTSD.

Treatment for PTSD

Effective treatments are available to help manage PTSD symptoms and improve quality of life. Some common treatments for PTSD include:

  1. Psychotherapy: Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), can help individuals learn coping skills to manage PTSD symptoms and work through the underlying trauma.

  2. Medications: Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed to help manage symptoms.

  3. Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a type of therapy that helps individuals process traumatic memories and reduce the intensity of associated symptoms.

  4. Lifestyle changes: Making changes to one’s lifestyle, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and avoiding drugs and alcohol, can also be helpful in managing PTSD symptoms.

Conclusion – What is Post Traumatic Stress

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. While the exact cause of PTSD is not fully understood, effective treatments are available to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. With the right treatment and support, individuals with PTSD can learn to manage their symptoms and lead a fulfilling life. It is important to seek professional help if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PTSD.


In our everyday lives, any of us can have an experience that is overwhelming, frightening, and beyond our control. We could find ourselves in a car crash, be the victim of an assault, or see an accident. Most people, in time, get over experiences like this without needing help. In some people, though, traumatic experiences set off a reaction that can last for many months or years. This is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD for short. PTSD can start after any traumatic event.


A traumatic event is one where we can see that we are in danger, our life is threatened, or where we see other people dying or being injured. Some typical traumatic events would be: serious accidents military combat violent personal assault (sexual assault, physical attack, abuse, robbery, mugging) being taken hostage terrorist attack being a prisoner-of-war natural or man-made disasters being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Even hearing about the unexpected injury or violent death of a loved one or close friend can start PTSD. People can tell if they have PTSD if they have experienced a traumatic event of the sort described. If they have, do they:

  • have vivid memories, flashbacks or nightmares?
  • avoid things that remind you of the event?
  • feel emotionally numb at times? feel irritable and constantly on edge, but can’t see why?
  • eat more than usual, or use more drink or drugs than usual?
  • feel out of control of your mood?
  • find it more difficult to get on with other people?
  • have to keep very busy to cope?

feel depressed or exhausted? If it is less than 6 weeks since the traumatic event and these experiences are slowly improving, they may be part of the normal process of adjustment. If it is more than 6 weeks since the event, and these experiences don’t seem to be getting better, it is worth talking it over with your doctor.

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