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What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a potentially disabling condition that many people experience after enduring a traumatic event in which they:

PTSD includes three types of symptoms:

  1. Intrusive Memories
  2. Physiological Arousal
  3. Avoidance Behaviors and Emotional Numbing

Intrusive Symptoms

Intrusive, repetitive memories can be overwhelming because they stir up the negative feelings experienced during the trauma. They can be manifested as:

Arousal Symptoms

Physiological arousal symptoms are basically an indication that the person no longer feels safe and is physically "on alert" to deal with danger. These include:

Avoidance Symptoms

Avoidance and numbing symptoms develop as a way to escape overwhelming traumatic memories and arousal symptoms. These can include:

How disruptive are these symptoms?
Even though PTSD symptoms can make a person feel crazy, they are normal, common reactions to an overwhelming traumatic experience. However, they can be very distressing. If they persist for more than three months, PTSD symptoms can become chronic and disrupt normal functioning in daily living.