Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD
PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a form of anxiety disorder due to recent stressful, distressing, frightening events.
People with the disorder often have their traumatic events through flashback episodes and nightmares; some may also experience feelings of irritability, isolation, and guilt.
They might have insomnia (problems with sleeping and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms are often persistent and severe enough to impact the person’s daily life significantly.
Any personal situation that a person finds traumatic can lead to PTSD; some common causes are:
- Severe road accidents
- Violent assaults, including mugging, robbery, or sexual
- Severe health problems
- Childbirth experiences
- Domestic or childhood abuse
- Exposure to traumatic events at the workplace
- Death of closed one
- War and conflict
When to seek help for PTSD?
It’s typical to experience confusing and upsetting thoughts after a traumatic event, but people mostly improve naturally over a few weeks. Consult a doctor if you or your child have problems for more than four weeks after experiencing a trauma or sooner if the symptoms are troublesome. If required, your doctor will refer you to a mental health specialist for further treatments and assessment.
PTSD has successful treatments, even when it develops or shows symptoms after many years of a traumatic event. The treatments usually depend on the severity of the symptoms and how often they occur. Following are some common treatments:
- Watchful waiting: Tracking and monitoring symptoms to see whether they get worse or improve
- Psychological therapies (Cognitive behavioral therapy or Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing)
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022