Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)– is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.
PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as “shell shock” during the years of World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II. But PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people who have been part of a traumatic event and any age. It has also been noted that women suffer from PTSD more than men, as women are more likely to be victims of sexual assaults.
People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear, and anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people. Living with someone who has PTSD can be a stressful lonely time, as the person with PTSD may withdraw and seek solitude. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.
A diagnosis of PTSD requires exposure to an upsetting traumatic event. However, exposure could be indirect rather than firsthand. For example, PTSD could occur in an individual learning about the violent death of a close family. It can also occur because of repeated exposure to horrible details of trauma such as police officers exposed to details of child abuse cases.
PTSD is manageable and treatable. If you or a loved one is suffering with PTSD, fill out the information below to request an appointment with our psychiatrist.