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POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term for certain psychological consequences of exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful experiences that the person experiences as highly traumatic.

These experiences can involve actual or threatened death, serious physical injury, or a threat to physical and/or psychological integrity. It is occasionally called post-traumatic stress reaction to emphasize that it is a routine result of traumatic experience rather than a manifestation of a pre-existing psychological weakness on the part of the patient.

Experiences likely to induce the condition include:

  • Childhood abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, psychological.
  • Adult experiences of rape, war and combat exposure (the latter often called combat stress reaction)
  • Violent attacks
  • Bad drug experiences (LSD, Magic Mushrooms)
  • Natural catastrophes life-threatening childbirth complications

For most people, the emotional effects of traumatic events will tend to subside after several months. If they last longer, then diagnosing a psychiatric disorder is generally advised. Most people who experience traumatic events will not develop PTSD.

PTSD is thought to be primarily an anxiety disorder, and should not be confused with normal grief and adjustment after traumatic events. There is also the possibility of simultaneous suffering of other psychiatric disorders (i.e. comorbidity). These disorders often include major depression, general anxiety disorder and a variety of addictions.

PTSD may have a "delayed onset" of years, or even decades, and may even be triggered by a specific body movement if the trauma was stored in the procedural memory, by another stressful event, such as the death of a family member or someone else close, or by the diagnosis of a life-threatening medical condition.


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