Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD can develop following exposure to a traumatic or very stressful event, such as physical or sexual abuse, assault, military combat, natural disaster, prolonged illness, or an abusive relationship.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a Trauma and Stress-Related Disorder that can develop following exposure to a traumatic or very stressful event, such as physical or sexual abuse, assault, military combat, natural disaster, prolonged illness, or an abusive relationship. PTSD can develop through direct exposure or by witnessing the trauma of another individual. For example, PTSD may develop indirectly after learning about the trauma of a friend or loved one. Not all individuals who experience or witness trauma will develop PTSD. Individuals who do develop symptoms typically re-experience traumatic events in the following ways: repeated thoughts or memories of the event; nightmares; flashbacks; intense emotional distress at reminders of what happened; and physiological changes such as insomnia, increased startle-response, edginess, or hyper-vigilance. Individuals suffering from PTSD often avoid environmental triggers that may remind them of their trauma. Avoidance behaviors, increased anxiety, depression, and feelings of anger, shame, and/or isolation make almost all areas of life extremely difficult for those with PTSD. Many people experience changes in their sense of who they are or how they see the world around them. Some individuals with PTSD may react with impulsive or self-destructive behaviors or develop difficulties with trust and intimacy. For more information about therapy for trauma, click here.

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