What is it
PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder.
PTSD develops after people have experienced a traumatic (really distressing) event, such as violence, rape, a life threatening situation, or abuse. Some people experience PTSD after witnessing something distressing, even if it didn’t happen to them. A wide range of traumatic events can cause PTSD.
Unfortunately, lots of people are impacted by distressing events, and many of them experience some symptoms of PTSD soon afterwards. This is sometimes described as an ‘acute stress reaction’. Many people find that the symptoms they experience at first disappear after a few weeks.
If someone’s symptoms go on for longer than a month, they might get a diagnosis of PTSD. Some people might be told they have a particular type of PTSD.
Feelings and behaviours
- Having flashbacks or nightmares about what happened
- Avoiding thinking about or doing things that might trigger memories of the traumatic event, keeping busy, or doing things to numb your feelings or memories
- Being tense and on guard all the time, in case it happens again
- Experiencing anger that you can’t resolve
- Feeling guilty about what happened or that you survived
- Muscle aches
- Having trouble sleeping (finding it difficult to get to sleep or waking up lots)
- Low energy
What’s going on
Interviews, art, blogs, and tips about mental health and wellbeing.
It can be difficult to know how to start a conversation about mental health. Here are some tips and conversation starters.
Information about how Doc Ready helps make talking to a GP about mental health easier.
Videos about PTSD from Nip in the Bud, an organisation set up to encourage awareness about mental health disorders in young children.