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HEALTHLINE

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

healthline.com

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental health disorder that begins after a traumatic event. Events may include:

  • A natural disaster like a tornado
  • Military combat
  • Assault or abuse
  • An accident

PSTD is also known as "shell shock" or "battle fatigue." ...

Words, sounds, or situations that remind you of trauma can trigger your symptoms. Symptom categories:

  • Intrusion: Flashbacks, where you relive the event. Clear, unpleasant memories or nightmares about the incident and intense distress when you think about the event.

If you're diagnosed with PTSD, you will likely be prescribed therapy, medication, or both.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or "talk therapy" helps you to process the traumatic event.
  • Exposure therapy lets you re-experience elements of the...

PTSD may cause changes to the brain. People with this disorder have a smaller hippocampus that is responsible for memory and emotion.

  • Medical PTSD is a life-threatening medical emergency that can be just as traumatic as a natural disaster.
  • Postpartum...

There is no specific test to diagnose PTSD. Diagnoses can be difficult because people may suppress the trauma or may be reluctant to talk about it. To be diagnosed with PTSD, you must experience all of the following symptoms for more than a month:

  • at least one re-experience symptom

  • Acute stress disorder (ASD) isn’t PTSD. It’s a cluster of symptoms like anxiety and avoidance that develop within a month after a traumatic event. Many people with ASD go on to develop PTSD.
  • Dissociative PTSD is when you detach yourself from the tr...

  • Complex PTSD describes the emotional repercussions of continued and long-term trauma or multiple traumas.
  • PTSD in children. Children will generally recover from traumatic events, but some can have PTSD. Symptoms include nightmares, trouble sleeping...

Learn about PTSD to understand your feelings and how to deal with them.

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Get enough rest and exercise.
  • Avoid anything that increases your stress or anxiety.
  • If you have regular upsetting thoughts, are unable to control your actions, or f...

PTSD affects those around them. The anger, fear, or other negative emotions can put a strain on the strongest relationships.

  • Learn all you can about PTSD so you can support your loved one.
  • Join a support group for family members of people living with PTSD.
  • Try to en...

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