What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric diagnosis that means you are experiencing symptoms related to a traumatic event or situation that happened to you. The trauma you experienced could be anything that was overwhelmingly scary and made you fear for your life, safety, or well-being (or the life, safety, or well-being of someone else). 

  • If you have experienced repeated traumas or long-term trauma, you might have complex PTSD (C-PTSD).

  • In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, your symptoms must meet specific criteria. It is important to remember that just because you may not qualify for a PTSD diagnosis, that doesn't mean that you haven't been traumatized or don't have trauma symptoms. 

  • Trauma and PTSD symptoms can vary but some common ones are: nightmares, trouble sleeping, flashbacks, re-living the traumatic event or situation, being easily startled, anger or irritability, avoiding things that remind you of the trauma, negative thinking, dissociation, feeling numb, difficulties in relationships, and self-destructive behaviour. 

  • PTSD and trauma symptoms can often be mistaken for other issues like anxiety or depression, which is why getting a proper diagnosis from a qualified professional can be helpful. 

  • When it comes to trauma, it is important to remember that everyone is different. What is most important in determining how someone responds to trauma is their personal experience of it, rather than the objective facts of what happened. This is why two people can go through the exact same life-threatening event and one of them develops PTSD and the other doesn't. 

  • Many people who experience abuse or neglect in childhood go on to develop PTSD or trauma symptoms. These can include difficulties in relationships related to attachment trauma specifically. 

  • It takes time and work to recover from trauma and PTSD. It is important to have mental health professionals helping you and having healthy routines, hobbies, and connections with other people are very important too. 


More information about PTSD:





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