Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Overview
According to the American Psychological Association, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is "an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, such as terrorist attacks, motor vehicle accidents, rape, physical and sexual abuse, and other crimes, or military combat."
PTSD is a problem in which your brain continues to react with nervousness after you have had a horrific trauma even though the original trauma is over. Our brains can react by staying in "overdrive" and being hyperalert to the next possible trauma. Sometimes you might continue to "remember" the trauma by having "flashbacks" about the event or nightmares even though the trauma is in the past. After a traumatic event, we can also become "numb" and shut down our feelings and try to avoid situations that might cause us to remember the trauma.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2014
Maria Pease, MD
Must Read Articles Related to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - Effective Treatments
What kinds of treatments have been effective for your posttraumatic stress disorder?
PTSD - Symptoms
What were the symptoms of your PTSD?
PTSD - Experience
Please describe your experience with PTSD.