Post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that is often triggered by a traumatic experience. PTSD inciting events may include:
- Natural disaster
- Terrorist attack
- Warzone experience
- Physical or sexual assault
- Witnessing the assault or death of another person
There are different types of PTSD that can develop, and each person’s experience with the disorder may vary based on the inciting event. Some people may experience symptoms that cause them to constantly and/or unexpectedly relive the event. They may have the same physical sensations and uncontrollable flashbacks of the experience, and they may behave erratically and exhibit angry outbursts as a result.
Other people living with PTSD may exhibit avoidant behaviors, making choices that allow them to avoid people, places, or situations that trigger memories of the traumatic event. They may also have memory loss or blackout spots in their memory that disallow them to remember specific details leading up to, during, or after the trauma.
Additionally, people living with PTSD may feel numb and unable to connect with others and/or feel extremely agitated and unable to sleep or relax for fear of what may happen. Many have problems with friends or family, have a hard time holding it together every day at work, and may no longer have any interest in things that once were a source of relaxation or amusement.PTSD treatment
may include medication to help manage symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, depression, and/or panic as well as therapy to help process the experience of the trauma and learn how to manage and mitigate symptoms.