the aftermath of a traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one,
an accident, a troubling experience, or a natural disaster, your
feelings of detachment, numbness, and distorted reality may control
your life for an extended period of time. If you feel that your reaction
to a traumatic event is overpowering your life, you could be experiencing
posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD include
flashbacks to the trauma, nightmares, frightening thoughts, depression,
anxiety, irritability and outbursts of anger. When these symptoms
last for over a month, PTSD is generally diagnosed. PTSD can be treated
with cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy and support, exposure
therapy (patient gradually relives traumatic experience) and certain
medications. Patients who have suffered abuse as a child or who have
experienced prolonged or numerous traumatic events are at a greater
risk for developing PTSD.
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder