Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder which you may develop after being involved in, or witnessing, traumatic events. The condition was first recognised in war veterans and has been known by a variety of names, such as ‘shell shock’. But it’s not only diagnosed in soldiers – a wide range of traumatic experiences can cause PTSD.
When something traumatic happens in your life it rocks you to the core. The world is no longer a safe place. It becomes somewhere that bad things can and do happen. The situations we find traumatic can vary from person to person. There are many different harmful or life-threatening events that might cause someone to develop PTSD. For example:
- a serious accident such as a car crash
- being violently attacked
- being raped or sexually assaulted
- being abused, harassed or bullied
- being kidnapped or held hostage
- traumatic childbirth, either as a mother or a partner witnessing a traumatic birth
- extreme violence or war, including military combat
- seeing other people hurt or killed
- surviving a terrorist attack
- surviving a natural disaster, such as flooding or an earthquake
- being diagnosed with a life-threatening condition
- losing someone close to you in particularly upsetting circumstances
- any event in which you fear for your life.