Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term for the psychological consequences of exposure to or confrontation with stressful experiences, which involve actual or threatened death, serious physical injury or a threat to physical integrity and which the person found highly traumatic. Symptoms can include reexperiencing phenomena such as nightmares and flashbacks, avoidance of reminders and emotional detachment, and hyperarousal with sleep abnormalities, extreme distress resulting from personal "triggers", irritability and excessive startle. There is also the possibility of simultaneous suffering of other psychiatric disorders. Experiences likely to induce the condition include rape, combat exposure, natural catastrophes, violent attacks, childbirth and perhaps its accompanying exhaustion, and childhood physical/emotional abuse. PTSD often becomes a chronic condition but can improve with treatment or even spontaneously.
PTSD is primarily an anxiety disorder and should not be confused with normal grief and adjustment after traumatic events. For most people, the emotional effects of traumatic events will tend to subside after several months. If they last longer than that then consideration should be given to diagnosing a psychiatric disorder. Most people who experience traumatic events will not develop PTSD. PTSD may have a delayed onset of years or even decades and may be triggered by a life event such as the death of someone close or the diagnosis of a serious medical condition. Once PTSD reaches the criteria for diagnosis the untreated course is generally for some worsening and then stability of the level of symptomatology over many years.Background of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Binary file (standard input) matches