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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
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In 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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