Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is one of several Anxiety Disorders. The essential feature of PTSD is experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event that involves the threat of or actual loss of life, or serious injury to oneself or others. Furthermore, the reaction or response to the traumatic event typically consists of extreme fear or horror. Examples of traumatic events include serious motor vehicle accidents, sexual assaults and rapes, war, violent physical abuse/assaults, and industrial accidents. Additional features of PTSD include repeated memories, nightmares, or flashbacks. These can be and are often accompanied by strong emotions, such as fear, anxiety, sadness or anger, as well as intense bodily sensations. Due to the repetitive nature of these emotionally loaded thoughts/memories/flashbacks, one typically tries to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event and/or avoid situations/people that remind them of the event. People with PTSD may also have difficulty remembering important aspects of the event, have difficulty in relationships and feeling close or connected with others, and be unable to express loving/tender feelings. They may also lose interest in activities they once found enjoyable. PTSD is also associated with difficulty sleeping and concentrating. There are often outbursts of anger or irritation. The person with PTSD may often find themselves in a state of hypervigilance (increased awareness of their environment).
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