PTSD is an anxiety disorder that a proportion of the people who suffer exceptionally threatening, catastrophic and traumatic events such as serious road traffic accidents, violent personal assaults & violence, prolonged sexual or physical abuse, military combat/ conflict, natural disasters etc, may develop. it usually occurs within 6 months of the traumatic event.
It is characterised by symptoms of reliving the traumatic event through flashback and or nightmares, difficulty in concentrating, irritability and inability to sleep. These in turn lead to feelings of being on the edge and avoidance of circumstances that may remind the sufferer of the traumatic event.
PTSD occurs in about 1 in 3 victims of catastrophic traumatic events. It is usual to feel shocked and confused immediately after a traumatic event. However, most people would improve spontaneously over a few weeks. If these symptoms continue for more than 4 weeks then a consultation with the family doctor is advised.
The treatment depends on the duration and severity of the above symptoms and their impact on your every day life. These would range from watchful waiting to psychological trauma focused therapy and antidepressant medication.