It is common to experience upsetting, distressing or confusing feelings after being involved in, or witnessing a traumatic event, such as:
- Violence against you
- Childhood abuse
- A car accident
- Military combat or being in a war zone
- Seeing someone die
Not everyone will have PTSD after a traumatic event and for some their distress may become more manageable over a period of time.
For a diagnosis of PTSD to be given the following signs and symptoms must be present:
- Re-experiencing via images, dreams, nightmares and flashbacks
- Avoiding reliving the experience by absorbing yourself in other activities such as work, or hobbies and avoiding people and places that remind you of the trauma
- Being on guard- staying alert all the time, looking out for danger and not being able to relax
There are a number of therapies and treatment for PTSD that require specialist input.