PTSD Basics



PTSD Basics

PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. During this kind of event, you may not have any control over what's happening, and you may feel very afraid. Anyone who has gone through something like this can develop PTSD. While these examples are indeed traumatic, we cannot minimize other circumstances in life that are also traumatic.  For example, leaving one’s religious belief system can lead to a significant level of drama within the family, work place, friendship’s, etc.  Other circumstances may be the loss of a loved one, particularly a spouse or a serious injury or illness, loss of a job along with many other moments in life that can cause PTSD.

It's normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event (also called "trauma"). At first, it may be hard to do daily activities you are used to doing, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later, or they may come and go over time.

If it's been longer than a few months and thoughts and feelings from the trauma are upsetting you or causing problems in your life, you may have PTSD.


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