Close this search box.


Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) consists of flashbacks and feelings of sadness, anger, or fear.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) consists of flashbacks and feelings of sadness, anger, or fear.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe medical condition that occurs in people who have previously experienced or witnessed some traumatic episode. These may include events like a natural disaster, road accident, a bomb explosion, a rape or a violent physical assault. PTSD was called “shell shock” or combat fatigue in the past.

It is quite reasonable to have a strong emotional reaction during a short time after a terrifying event. But with time, most people start to live normally. In contrast, if nightmares continue for months or years, you may have PTSD.

PTSD can occur in any person. Women are two times more prone to suffer from PTSD. People with PTSD will have extreme and intense emotions.  The thoughts related to traumatic events persist long after PTSD had occurred. Symptoms consist of flashbacks and feelings of sadness, anger, or fear. They may interfere with your daily life.


Most commonly, the symptoms may occur in the first month after a traumatic episode. But sometimes, it may occur after months and even years. These symptoms usually have a debilitating effect on your daily living. Symptoms include:

  • Re-experience – It is one of the most characteristic symptoms of PTSD. The person clearly and unwillingly re-lives the trauma. The re-living is through nightmares, flashbacks, and sensations such as sweating, trembling or pain, and repetitive visual or auditory sensations.
  • Avoiding consists of avoiding situations, objects, places, or people that remind one of the traumas. Consequently, it may lead to detachment from near and dear ones.
  • Hyperarousal – People with PTSD find it hard to relax and are easily startled. They may have problems sleeping or concentrating. The person may become irritable or angry quite quickly or have angry outbursts.
  • Negative thoughts and emotions – This consists of distorted beliefs about yourself and others. For, e.g., – I am worthless, or all others are bad.

Other symptoms include: –

  • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
  • Detachment and isolation from others.
  • Distorted emotions like blame or guilt.
  • Hopelessness for the future.
  • Difficulty in remembering important features of traumatic episodes.

Symptoms in children

  • Bed wetting after learning toilet use.
  • Stopping or inability to speak.
  • Clinging with parent unusually.

Causes and types

It is not fully known why PTSD occurs in some people while not in others. It seems that genetics plays a vital role in it. If your parents suffer from mental health problems, you are more susceptible. Other risk factors include –

  • Previous psychological disorders, such as anxiety or depression.
  • Lack of support from friends or family members after the traumatic event.

Events that may lead to PTSD

  1. Sexual assault or rape.
  2. Violent physical assault.
  3. Serious and life-threatening accident.
  4. Childhood or domestic abuse.
  5. Serious illness such as conditions requiring admission to ICU.
  6. Soldiers during wars.
  7. Natural disaster.


To diagnose, your doctor will take your detailed medical history. Furthermore, he will

  1. Physically examine you to check for any medical illness.
  2. Perform a psychological evaluation.

The symptoms must have persisted for more than one month after a traumatic event to make a diagnosis of PTSD.

The support of loved ones can help you recover much faster from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The support of loved ones can help you recover much faster from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment

Treatment of PTSD consists of medical or psychotherapy or a combination of both.


Psychotherapy is usually the first choice for treatment. The main types of psychotherapy used are:

  1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – helps you to identify the beliefs and thinking patterns that are causing  PTSD’s behavioral response. It teaches you to change your negative thoughts.
  2. Group therapy – Some PTSD patients may benefit by talking to other people who are also suffering from PTSD. There is a sharing of thoughts, emotions, and fears. There are many support groups for PTSD.
  3. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – During recall of the traumatic event, the patient has to make side-to-side eye movements while following the movement of the therapist’s finger.
  4. Exposure therapy – It involves exposure to anxiety-causing objects or situations in a safe environment. The person is made to relive the traumatic experience through photographs or talk. It helps to confront the fear situation and gradually become comfortable with it.

Medical therapy

It consists of a prescription of medicines by the doctor. The medication includes antidepressants such as sertraline, paroxetine, amitriptyline, mirtazapine, or phenelzine.

Medical therapy is given only if –

  • You fail to benefit from psychotherapy.
  • You have mental conditions such as depression.
  • There is a present threat of trauma, e.g., domestic violence.

If medication is effective in treating PTSD, it will be given for at least 12 months before being withdrawn over one month or even longer. There may be some side effects consisting of constipation, diarrhea, nausea, anxiety, or irritability.


Try to socialize. PTSD can alienate and disconnect you from friends and family. You must understand that the support of loved ones can help you recover much faster. Try to talk to someone with whom you feel a connection. That person should be able to listen to you without judgment or criticism.

If you find connecting with others challenging, vocal toning may be tried. Go to a quiet place and make the sound of ‘mmm.’. Try to keep lips closed and teeth apart. Adjust the tone and frequency until you experience a soothing vibration. Continue for a few minutes. It will relax you.

Have a healthy lifestyle.

Eat a healthy and balanced diet and sleep for a sufficient amount of time.

  1. U.S. National Institute of Mental Health
  2. NHS
  3. American Psychiatric Association
    Patient and Families


Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness.

Depression: how to beat it?

Mental Health Key Facts Types of Depression Symptoms Risks Factors Diagnosis and Treatment Medication Living with Depression Overview  Depression is

grief and bereavement meaning

Grief and Bereavement Meaning

Mental Health Overview Type Symptoms Risks and causes Diagnosis Treatment Medical therapy Prevention FAQs Grief and Bereavement Meaning A major

Schizophrenia is characterized by disconnect from reality.


Mental Health Signs and Symptoms Cognitive symptoms Diagnosis Treatment Self help and coping   Overview  Schizophrenia is a severe mental

Send Us A Message

Scroll to Top