What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSDPosttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the development of symptomatic behaviors that usually occur as a result of a terribly frightening, life-threatening, or otherwise highly unsafe experience.  PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms.  Additionally, PTSD sufferers re-experience the traumatic event or events in some way, tend to avoid places, people, or other things that remind them of the event (avoidance), and are exquisitely sensitive to normal life experiences (hyperarousal).

People with PTSD experience three different kinds of symptoms:

  1. Recurring intrusive recollection of the trauma:  intrusive thoughts, dreams, flashbacks, “dissociative” events, intense emotional and physiological distress when re-exposed to trauma associated stimuli
  2.  Avoidance of trauma-associated stimuli or ‘numbing’:  sense of detachment, restricted range in the expression of emotion, depression or dissatisfaction with life, loss of recently acquired developmental skill, sense of a foreshortened future
  3. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal:  sleep difficulties, constantly being “on guard,” or scanning the environment for threats, difficulty concentrating, increased startle response (jumpy), emotional lability (rapidly shifting), behavioral impulsivity, irritability, profound anger
Schedule Now

PTSD is complicated by the fact that people with PTSD often may develop additional disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health.

The disorder is also associated with impairment of the person’s ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

Schedule Now