IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER1:
Posttraumatic stress disorder affects people who have experienced a traumatic event
such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents,
or personal assaults such as rape.
Symptoms include nightmares and flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, and feelings of
detachment/estrangement. Symptoms can be persistent and severe enough to significantly
impair a patient's daily life.
PTSD often occurs in conjunction with related disorders such as depression, substance
abuse, and problems with memory and cognition. It may also affect a person's ability
to function at work, in a marriage, or as a parent. Important: If you or someone you love is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 9-1-1 for help.
Those more likely to experience PTSD include:
- Those who experience greater stressor magnitude and intensity, unpredictability,
uncontrollability, sexual (as opposed to nonsexual) victimization, real or perceived
responsibility, and betrayal.
- Those with prior vulnerability factors such as genetics, early age of onset and
longer-lasting childhood trauma, lack of functional social support, and concurrent
stressful life events.
- Those who report greater perceived threat or danger, suffering, upset, terror, and
horror or fear.
- Those with a social environment that produces shame, guilt, stigmatization or self-hatred.
1. National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet.