PTSD is a mental health disorder that begins after a traumatic event. Events may include:
PSTD is also known as "shell shock" or "battle fatigue." People with PSTD feel a heightened sense of danger. They are always in the fight-or-flight response mode, causing them to feel stressed or fearful, even in safe situations.
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Words, sounds, or situations that remind you of trauma can trigger your symptoms. Symptom categories:
If you're diagnosed with PTSD, you will likely be prescribed therapy, medication, or both.
PTSD may cause changes to the brain. People with this disorder have a smaller hippocampus that is responsible for memory and emotion.
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:
Learn about PTSD to understand your feelings and how to deal with them.
PTSD affects those around them. The anger, fear, or other negative emotions can put a strain on the strongest relationships.
While some stress is essential for human function, chronic stress creates a cascade of physical changes throughout your body:
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. The first day of school, going to a job interview, or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and nervous.
In the case of an anxiety disorder, the feeling of fear may be with you all the time. It is intense and sometimes debilitating.
This type of anxiety may cause you to stop doing things you enjoy. In extreme cases, it may prevent you from entering an elevator, crossing the street, or even leaving your home. If left untreated, the anxiety will keep getting worse.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect anyone at any age. According to the American Psychiatric Association , women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.