Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops in some people after they experience a traumatic event, such as:
- Sexual or physical assault
- Witnessing violence
- Assault with a weapon
- Armed robbery
- Car accident
- Life threatening illness
- Fire or natural disaster
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
Experiencing a trauma can be extremely upsetting and can cause a number of emotional difficulties. Many of the feelings and changes that you may be having after experiencing trauma are normal. In fact, most people who experience a major trauma have severe problems in the immediate aftermath. However, for some people, these symptoms last for a long time. If you are still experiencing emotional difficulties or daily impairments one month or more after you experienced a trauma, you may have PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Frequent thoughts of the trauma
- Avoiding things that remind you of the trauma
- Intense feelings of fear and anxiety
- Nightmares and/or sleep problems
- Jumpiness or a tendency to be easily startled
- Irritability or anger
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
Can PTSD be treated?
Yes, there are effective treatments for PTSD. The University of Washington, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland are now actively recruiting participants for a PTSD treatment study.