Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
The person with PTSD persistently re-experiences the trauma in intrusive memories or nightmares; and avoids stimuli associated with the trauma, numbing of general responsiveness (not feeling emotions), and feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
The diagnosis requires that the symptoms are present for more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning; and are not due to drugs or other medical conditions.
Treatment is available and effective for most people with PTSD. Treatment approaches include psychotherapy and medication.