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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by stressful events and can occur weeks, months or even years later.

Common events that can cause PTSD include:

  • Serious road accidents
  • Violent assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
  • Domestic Violence
  • Neglect
  • Witnessing a death
  • Military combat – Away to war and then coming back

Someone with PTSD will often relive the traumatic event through nightmares, visualising distressing images and or flashbacks of the event. They may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person's day-to-day life.

Many people with PTSD also have a number of associated problems, including:

  • Depression, anxiety and phobias
  • Drug or alcohol misuse
  • Physical pains such as headaches, dizziness, chest pains and stomach aches

PTSD can also affect children. Children with the condition can have similar symptoms to adults. Like adults, children with PTSD may also lose interest in activities that they used to enjoy and they may have physical symptoms too.

However, there are some symptoms that are more specific to children with PTSD, such as:

  • Bedwetting
  • Being unusually anxious about being separated from a parent or other adult
  • Re-enacting the traumatic event(s) through their play

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD.

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help

* The contents of this condition is for information purposes only.