Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can result from experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, set of circumstances, or series of events. PTSD can affect someone’s physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being.
Some examples of events that can cause PTSD include:
- serious accidents
- natural disasters
- terrorist acts
- historical trauma
- rape/sexual assault
- intimate partner violence
Those with PTSD experience disturbing and intense thoughts that relate to their experience and last long after the traumatic event has ceased. Some individuals may relive the trauma through nightmares or flashbacks, which may cause them to detach from others or feel fear, sadness, or anger.
There are four categories of PTSD symptoms:
- alterations in reactivity and arousal
- alterations in mood and cognition