Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (i.e. PTSD) is a common condition that can occur following very stressful or traumatic events. Several different types of experiences can manifest as PTSD. A few of these events include but are not limited to: being in a car accident, being raised in an abusive home environment, being a victim of crime, being physically or sexually abused, living through a disaster such as a flood or bombing, seeing someone else die, and the traumatic experiences of war.
There are three main types of challenges associated with PTSD:
1. Reliving the trauma: Memories of the trauma that caused the marked distress, nightmares and flashbacks to make people feel as if they are living the event over again. These tormenting memories will often return when people see or hear something that reminds them of the traumatic event.
2. Avoiding: People with PTSD try to avoid thinking about distressing memories of traumatic event as well as staying away from people, places and things that trigger the memories. Feelings of numbness and attachment are not unusual, with some people turning to alcohol or drugs to dull the pain.
3. Signs of physical distress: These can include trouble sleeping, feeling irritable or angry all the time, trouble concentrating, feeling tense and on guard.
PTSD symptoms most often occur shortly after the trauma. For many people, experience of the trauma can resolve on its own within three months; for many others, it can last for years with some people only beginning to experience symptoms years after the event.