Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) develops after people experience a traumatic event, or are exposed to prolonged trauma. Often PTSD can develop years after the event.

The disorder is a reaction to being exposed to these events. It commonly takes the form of flashbacks and panic attacks, as well as other symptoms.

PTSD can happen after any traumatic event where you’re in danger, your life is threatened, or you see others dying or being injured. These can include serious road accidents, prolonged sexual abuse, military combat and violent assaults. PTSD is not only diagnosed in soldiers – a wide range of traumatic experiences can cause PTSD.

PTSD can be a severe long term mental health problem that leaves people feeling anxious for years after the traumatic event.

Common Experiences of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Re-experiencing the event in flashbacks and nightmares.
  • Avoiding things and places associated with the event.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Depression.
  • Being triggered by events or objects that remind you of the situation.
  • Physical sensations such as pain, sweating, nausea or trembling.
  • Instrusive thoughts.
  • Irritability or aggressive behaviour.

Personal Story

“The stigma I faced mainly involved people asking if I was crazy. Rumours about why I wasn't in school were that I was in a nut house.

“Someone asked if I was dangerous. It was as if they were accusing me of craziness, not just asking. They didn't understand and they didn't try to.

“I was going through the most terrifying period of my life and they thought it was my fault.”

– Gemma Patterson

Read Gemma's story here

More Information