PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)

Posted on : December 6, 2023 by Clinic One on Mental Health

People who have experienced a traumatic incident, such as a natural disaster, a catastrophic accident, a terrorist attack, battle, or rape, or who have been threatened with death, sexual assault, or significant injury, may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric disease.

When faced with stressful situations, the majority of people may at first find it difficult to adjust and deal with, but with enough time and self-care, they usually recover.

You may have PTSD if the symptoms worsen, last for weeks, months, or even years, and affect your daily functioning.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), the triggering traumatic event had to have happened at least three months prior to the evaluation in order for PTSD to be diagnosed.

Acute stress disorder may be diagnosed if the triggering incident happened less than three months ago and the patient exhibits distressing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD symptoms

The symptoms below must cause significant discomfort or limit functioning for a minimum of one month and cannot be brought on by a medical condition, drug use, or alcohol consumption.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms are usually grouped into three types: Re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance of things that remind the patient of the event, feelings of numbing, and hyperarousal.

Re-experiencing Symptoms (Must have at least one):

  • Repeated memories of the incident
    • Nightmares of the incident
    • Severe anxiety, fear, or discomfort when the patient is reminded of the incident
    • Flashbacks: acting or feeling as if the incident is happening again while you’re awake

Avoidance of Things That Remind The Event, Feelings of Numbing (Must have 3)

  • Avoiding things, people, or locations that could trigger a memory for the patient

  • Steering clear of ideas or emotions that bring up the incident for the patient

  • Unable to remember certain details of the incident

  • Decreased interest in previously appreciated things

  • The patient feels distant from others, and nobody seems to comprehend

  • A feeling of a shortened future

  • Limited range of feelings

Hyperarousal (Must have 2)

  • Difficulties sleeping or staying asleep

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Irritability or anger outbursts

  • Hypervigilance
    The state of constantly feeling prepared to act.
    The patient may also claim that they are more aware of sounds.

  • Exaggerated startle reaction
    The patient may jump or feel shocked in response to sounds, touches, or any other surprise.

Treatment of PTSD

Post traumatic stress diorder treatment

It is significant to emphasize that not everyone who encounters trauma goes on to acquire PTSD, and not everyone who does not require psychiatric care.

The effects of PTSD may gradually lessen or vanish in some people with the aid of their support network, other people (family, friends, or clergy).

However, a lot of PTSD sufferers require expert care to recover from mental suffering that can be severe and incapacitating.

The possibility of trauma causing significant distress must be kept in mind. PTSD is curable, and the person experiencing the distress is not to blame.

A patient’s likelihood of recovery is higher the earlier they receive treatment.

To assist people in recovering from PTSD, psychiatrists and other mental health specialists employ a variety of efficient (research-proven) techniques.

PTSD can be effectively treated with medication and talk therapy (psychotherapy), according to evidence-based medicine, such as:

Cognitive behavior therapy: Cognitive processing therapy, Prolonged Exposure therapy, Stress inoculation Therapy, Group therapy, and also medications to control the PTSD symptoms.


Author: Mahakdeep Kaur
Mahakdeep Kaur, is a university student studying BSc in Social Science at Edinburgh Napier University and will be pursuing Master's of Clinical Psychology. 
Her area of interest is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

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