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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that some people develop after experiencing a dangerous, shocking, or terrifying event. Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms include:

  • Avoidance — staying away from places or events that remind you of the traumatic experience or avoiding thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic event

  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions — getting more easily startled, difficulty sleeping, sudden sadness, or angry outbursts

  • Changes in mood and cognition — trouble remembering the event and feeling guilt or blame

  • Re-experiencing — flashbacks, bad dreams, night terrors, or intrusive thoughts

The development of PTSD varies from person to person. Trauma can be induced by a variety of traumas varying from car crashes and domestic abuse to the death of a loved one. Some will experience symptoms beginning immediately after a traumatic event, and others won’t experience symptoms until years later. Just as with any mental illness, recovery time and processes vary by individual as well.

Treatment for PTSD

The most common PTSD treatments include medication and psychotherapy. Antidepressants are commonly used as PTSD medication, but talk therapy, (psychotherapy), is also a frequently effective treatment for PTSD because it can help patients recognize their triggers.

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