What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder
caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through
nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.
They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the
person's day-to-day life.
Causes of PTSD
Any situation that a person finds traumatic can cause PTSD.
These can include:
- Serious road accidents
- Violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
- Serious health problems
- Childbirth experiences
PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event, or it can occur weeks,
months or even years later.
PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience,
but it's not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not.