Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a diagnosis given to people who develop a certain set of symptoms following a traumatic event.

Symptoms of PTSD can begin immediately after the traumatic event has happened, or they might begin weeks, months or years later.

What are some of the symptoms of PTSD?

  • Reliving the traumatic event through flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or nightmares
  • Constantly feeling on edge and alert
  • Experiencing high anxiety or panic attacks
  • Avoiding feelings or memories of the event through keeping busy or avoiding talking about the event.
  • Not being able to remember the event, through dissociation or feeling physically or emotionally numb

What is it like to live with PTSD?

Everyone’s experience is different, but the symptoms of PTSD can be extremely difficult to cope with.

The symptoms can make it hard to maintain relationships, to work or even carry out simple everyday tasks. Some people find it so difficult to cope that they self-harm, turn to alcohol or drugs, or experience suicidal feelings.

People who experience PTSD will often have to cope with symptoms at varying degrees for the rest of their lives. However, there are treatments and coping strategies which can help people to manage their symptoms and live healthy and fulfilling lives. 

Where can I find out more?

Visit the Mind website to find out more about PTSD, including information on diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and recovery. This also includes information about delayed-onset PTSD, complex PTSD and birth trauma.

You can also find information about PTSD on the Rethink Mental Illness website. 



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