Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined as reactions that develop in a person who faces traumatic event which threatened his/her life.


PTSD may be when a person faces a car or other serious accident, sexual or physical assault, disasters such as bushfires, and war or torture. These all situations can lead to the person experiences feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror.


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What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

In scientific term, the post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that appears by a terrifying event either by experiencing it or witnessing it.


Symptoms of the disorder may include flashbacks, severe anxiety, and nightmares as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the terrifying event.


Most people who face the traumatic events may have temporary difficulty coping and adjusting, but when we seriously care for them as well as good self-care, they get better.


Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be significant to reduce symptoms and improve body function.




What are the Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The symptoms of PTSD are divided into four separate clusters, including:

1. Re-experiencing:

In this condition, the person may experience the following symptoms:

  • Usually get upset due to thoughts or memories about a traumatic event.
  • Nightmares related to the traumatic event.
  • Usually, feels or acted like as the event was happening again.
  • Faces feelings of distress.
  • Experience high heart rate or sweating, when reminded of the event.


2. Avoidance:

In this symptom, the people usually avoid other people, situations, or places that remind them of the event;

  • Try to avoid thoughts, conversations, and feelings about the event.
  • Try to avoid people or places that remind them of the event.
  • Usually, make themselves too busy to have time to think about the event.


3. Hyperarousal

In hyperarousal situation following symptoms include;

  • Feel difficult to sleep.
  • Feeling more irritable and angry.
  • Faces difficulty on concentrating.
  • Being jumpy or easily startled.


4. Negative thoughts and beliefs

Following are the symptoms faced after they reached into the negative situation;

  • Faces difficult in remembering important elements of the traumatic event.
  • Interest loss in favorite activities.
  • Feeling distant from others.
  • Experiencing difficulties having positive feelings like love and happiness.
  • Feeling as though your life may be cut short.


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What are the Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

A person can develop the disorder when he/she experienced an event related threatened death, sexual violation or serious injury.

Following are some causes of the disorder including;

  • Stressful experiences in life.
  • Inherited mental health risks like a family history of depression and anxiety.
  • Inherited features of the personality (also called temperament).
  • The way the brain regulates the chemicals and hormones in the body that are released in response to stress.




What are the Treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

There are several treatments available for the disorder including;

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
  • Exposure therapy.
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

The disorder can get worse over time and triggers other psychological disorders such as depression, eating disorders, substance use disorders, or anxiety disorders.





A person with posttraumatic stress disorder faces mental disorder that eventually develops his/her exposed to a traumatic event like warfare, sexual assault, and other threats to his/her life.


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