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.
Causes of PTSD
The type of events that can cause PTSD include:
- Serious road accidents
- Violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
- Prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect
- Witnessing violent deaths
- Military combat
- Being held hostage
- Terrorist attacks
- Natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis
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 don’t.
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.
It’s normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event. PTSD can be successfully treated, even when it develops many years after a traumatic event.
Any treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event.
We recommend Counselling, and Psychotherapy such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Clinical Hypnotherapy with relaxation techniques.