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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder follows after a traumatic event has occurred.

The causes of post traumatic stress disorder are from exposure to excessive stress or trauma. Events that trigger post traumatic stress disorder are not a normally occurring event in people's lives. Plane crashes, natural disaster, assault, child abuse, war imprisonment, or combat are all triggers for post traumatic stress disorder.

Types of PTSD
Symptoms: A quick list
Signs & Symptoms: In-depth
Further Information
PTSD Links
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      There are three types of post traumatic stress disorder, they are:

        • acute: symptoms last less than three months
        • chronic: symptoms last longer than three months
        • delayed: symptoms start at least six months after the actual trauma occurs


      The following is a list of symptoms for PTSD:
        • reliving the event
        • feeling numb to one's surroundings
        • startling easily
        • having feelings of guilt
        • developing loss of memory
        • experiencing a variety of nerve dysfunctions that control automatic body functions, called autonomic dysfunctions and disorders of thinking, memory, or concentration, called cognitive dysfunctions
        • experiencing feelings of dissatisfaction, depression and anxiety, called dysphoria
        • experiencing difficulties with concentration and sleep


Signs and Symptoms:

The signs and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder fall into three categories:

Intrusive Symptoms:

Intense memories and dreams of the event that are so vivid, it almost feels like the event is happening all over again. These flashbacks can happen without obvious trigger and bring with them strong feelings:

  • memories of the event
  • recurrent dreams of the event
  • sensations that the event is recurring. These sensations can include: illusions or misinterpreting things you see or hear as something else, hallucinations, or seeing or hearing things that are not there, and flashbacks, or reliving events as if they are occurring now
  • severe emotional upset at cues similar to experiences in the actual event
  • physical sensations that recall the event. This can occur after exposure to outside cues or after internal memories


Avoidance Symptoms:

A person with post traumatic stress disorder might withdraw from people and situations in an attempt to stop the traumatic memories. Some people with post traumatic stress disorder experience a deadening of their emotions:

  • guilt at surviving when others did not, which is know as survivor guilt
  • trouble making and keeping healthy family, social or job relations
  • avoidance of activities, places or people that might bring the event to mind
  • trouble recalling key pars of the event
  • loss of interest in daily activities
  • feelings of detachment or emotional distance from others. This could include trouble feeling love or affection
  • a sense of a shortened future. This might involve refusal to think or plan for the future

Arousal Symptoms:

A person with post traumatic stress disorder is anxious and watchful. They might experience problems with sleeping and concentrating:

  • problems sleeping. This can include trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or early morning waking
  • irritability and trouble managing anger
  • problems with memory and concentration
  • an exaggerated startle response, or being set off by surprising events
  • persistent anxiety
  • somatic body symptoms. These may include headache, nausea, sweating, chest pain or dizziness
  • agitation, or feelings of restlessness
  • less ability to tolerate or control emotions
  • self-destructive behaviour. This may include alcohol and drug abuse, suicide attempts or acting out
  • feeling of being separate from yourself or from the world, called dissociative symptoms


Counselling after a traumatic experience can prevent post traumatic stress disorder from occurring. If un-treated the long term affects of post traumatic stress disorder can mean relationship difficulties, job and legal problems and alcohol and drug abuse.

Medication is also an option for people with post traumatic stress disorder. Antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed to treat other disorders that result from the post traumatic stress disorder being present.

Further Information

Post-traumatic Stress Dis research - Brain.Com Exclusive

There is also a Health Translations Online Directory that enables you, health practitioners, and those working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to easily find reliable translated health information.

The Directory provides web links to online multilingual resources across the health sector including government departments, peak health bodies, hospitals, community health centres and welfare agencies.


The factual information on this page was compiled from:
Health Answers (http://www.healthanswers.com) and Better Health Channel (http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au)

by people who have had experience with P.T.S.D.

Please send us your comments and experiences with P.T.S.D to share with others.

Living And Coping With PTSD by Sacredrose

Your feedback and input will be greatly appreciated.

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