Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder which is usually triggered by terrifying or traumatic events. Individuals who have experienced traumatic events (such as sexual assault, violence, abuse, the threat of physical harm or death or war) may not suffer PTSD. However, some people experience feelings of extreme fear or stress at times when there is no danger present anymore. Individuals with PTSD can experience intense flashbacks of event as well as bad dreams which can be recurring and disturbing.
Individuals suffering PTSD may experience feel extremely stressed, anxious, depressed with a loss of enjoyment for life. In addition, individuals suffering PTSD may feel emotionally isolated and numb. Suffering PTSD can happen to both children and adults and the disorder is more commonly seen in women than men. However, men may be exposed to more traumatic life threatening experiences which can cause the onset of PTSD. If you know an individual who has suffered symptoms similar to PTSD for longer than 4 weeks after a traumatic situation it is wise to contact a qualified therapist to seek assistance as part of treatment.
Symptoms of PTSD
For people with anxiety disorders, irrational worry and fear are overpowering and relentless. There are several different anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia.
Symptoms of general anxiety may vary, but generally include some type of extreme, irrational fear and feelings of dread. Many people with an anxiety disorders also have physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, tension headaches, nausea, or muscle weakness. Anxiety disorders (characterized by at least six months of symptoms) are fairly common, affecting about 18% of the population. A mental health professional can be helpful in dealing with normal feelings of anxiety as well as specific anxiety disorders.