POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.  Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and 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 severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.

Any situation that a person finds traumatic can cause PTSD.

These can include:

  • serious road accidents
  • violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
  • serious health problems
  • childbirth experiences

PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event, or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.  PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience, but it’s not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not.

COMPLEX PTSD

People who repeatedly experience traumatic situations, such as severe neglect, abuse or violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD.  Complex PTSD can cause similar symptoms to PTSD and may not develop until years after the event.

It’s often more severe if the trauma was experienced early in life, as this can affect a child’s development.

For further information about symptoms and treatment, please visit the NHS website that this page has been taken from, click here