Trauma and ptsd

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

ptsdPost traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event.

PTSD can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or culture, and can significantly impact daily life, relationships, work, and overall well-being.

Experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event such as the following can cause someone to develop PTSD:

  • being abused, bullied, or harassed
  • surviving a natural disaster
  • domestic violence
  • prolonged stress
  • a serious accident
  • a terrorist attack, war/combat
  • rape
  • a violent personal assault

Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Most people who experience a traumatic event will have some symptoms of PTSD in the days or weeks afterward. However, these usually improve over time and do not last long enough to attain a diagnosis of PTSD. For some people, the symptoms can persist and become much more debilitating. The following are some of the symptoms of PTSD:

  • flashbacks
  • nightmares
  • severe anxiety
  • low mood
  • trouble sleeping
  • trouble concentrating
  • feeling irritable 
  • mood swings
  • avoidance of certain situations or places
  • constantly alert (hyperarousal)
  • be easily startled (hypervigilance)
  • difficulty holding down a job
  • connection-relationships
  • low libido
  • memory problems
  • difficulty decision making
  • coping with change

Risk factors

It is unclear exactly why some people develop PTSD and others do not. However, certain factors may increase the risk of developing the condition, including:

  • experiencing a very intense or prolonged traumatic event
  • having experienced previous traumas
  • losing a loved one or someone close to you as a result of the trauma
  • being physically injured during the trauma
    feeling helpless or that your life was in danger during the trauma
  • seeing other people injured or killed during the trauma
  • experiencing symptoms of shock or denial immediately after the trauma
  • having little or no support after the trauma
  • having pre-existing mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety

It is possible that someone may be more at risk of developing further mental health conditions if they have PTSD, such as:

Dissociative disorders
Anxiety disorders
Substance misuse Disorder

Treatment for PTSD

While there is no cure for PTSD, several effective treatments can help alleviate the symptoms and help to make life more manageable, including psychotherapy, medication, and self-help.


Different types of psychotherapy are used to treat PTSD, including:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Eye Movement Desensitisation

Talking Therapy

Internal Family Systems (IFS)


Certain types of medication are used to treat PTSD. These may help reduce symptoms such as low mood, anxiety, and insomnia. Self-care


There are also many things you can do to help yourself cope with PTSD, including:

  • staying connected to friends and family
  • exercising regularly
  • eating a healthy diet
  • avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • sleep hygiene link

If you’re struggling to cope with your symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help.