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The World of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder or generally known as PTSD is a mental health disorder. It is mainly triggered by experiencing a traumatic event that leads to severe anxiety, flashbacks of that event, and even nightmares.

Anyone who goes through a terrible event has some difficulty adjusting, but if these symptoms persist for a longer period of time and that person finds it difficult to reach toward a normal state of mind, he might be suffering from PTSD.


PTSD symptoms usually start within a month of inciting events and may persist for months or years depending upon the situation. This can be cumbersome as they tend to interfere with work and social life with a decline in a personal state of mind with time. PTSD symptoms can be categorized into four varieties:

  1. Avoidance behavior

  2. Intrusive memories

  3. Mood changes

  4. Reactional changes

Avoidance behaviors:

This usually includes avoiding people or places that remind a person of inciting events for PTSD. This even includes avoiding thinking about that event and not confronting it.

Intrusive memories:

Intrusive memories include recurring dreams about the terrible event with flashbacks of reliving that moment. The memories of that event also contribute toward PTSD. If the person suffered physical distress during an inciting event for PTSD that also becomes a reminder for that trauma.

Mood changes:

PTSD can lead to negative changes in mood that affects you and the people you hold dear in life. Some negative changes in mod may include:

  • Hopelessness

  • Negative thoughts about the world

  • Lack of interest

  • Feeling detached from loved ones

  • Difficulty in feeling emotions

  • Difficulty in maintaining meaningful relationships

Reactional changes:

PTSD can lead to the way a person behaves both physically and emotionally. This may include:

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Aggressive or irritable behavior

  • Self-destructive behavior

  • Guilt or shame

  • Always being on edge

PTSD symptoms don’t have the same intensity all the time. People may experience these symptoms especially when they are stressed or anxious, or when a similar event occurs or for example, a car backfiring can make a soldier relive combat experience.

When to see a doctor for PTSD?

Any person who thinks he/she is suffering from PTSD should see a doctor or a therapist as soon as possible. Especially if PTSD is interfering with the quality of life and you are getting trouble performing your routines before the event. This will not only help to alleviate symptoms of PTSD but also provide mental health support as well.

Risk factors for developing PTSD:

Although anyone could develop PTSD at any point in life, some factors make a person more prone to develop PTSD than others, like:

  • Lacking a support system with friends and family

  • Having a family history of mental health disorders

  • History of substance abuse or addiction

  • Having mental health problems like anxiety or depression

  • A job that increases the chances of experiencing traumatic events

  • Experiencing trauma earlier in life

  • History of childhood abuse

The most common events that are known to lead to PTSD are combat exposure, accidents, childhood abuse, sexual abuse or violence, and physical assault.

Complications of PTSD:

PTSD can not only affect work and life but also interfere with a person’s health, social relations, and daily routines. PTSD also makes a person prone to other mental health disorders like:

  • Depression