Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that can result from experiencing trauma. The trauma can be an event that is life-threatening such as war, a car crash, a natural disaster, or an assault of some type. Or it can be an event that threatens the person’s sense of physical, sexual, or psychological wholeness such as sexual abuse, infidelity, or physical abuse. Not everyone who experiences these types of traumas develops PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD can include the following:
- Re-experiencing the event through flashbacks, intrusive memories, dreams, random smells or sounds.
- Avoidance of memories of the event through numbing, disinterest, depression, distancing from others etc.
- Hyper-arousal of the system resulting in difficulty sleeping, anxiety, irritability or flashes of rage, feeling on guard and overly aware etc.
PTSD that is undiagnosed and untreated can leave individuals more susceptible to addictions, mood disorders such as depression, and difficulties with their relationships.