Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have had exposure to an extreme stressor. An extreme stressor is a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Some examples include:

  • Serious accident or natural disaster
  • Rape or criminal assault
  • Combat exposure
  • Child sexual abuse or physical abuse or severe neglect
  • Hostage/imprisonment/torture/displacement as refugee
  • Witnessing a traumatic event
  • Sudden unexpected death of a loved one

Not every traumatized person develops PTSD and not everyonewith PTSD has experienced a dangerous event. It is estimated that 5% of the population currently have PTSD and women are twice as likely to have PTSD as men. 

A person with PTSD may experience symptoms such as re-experiencing the traumatic event, finding ways to avoid thoughts, feelings, and reminders of the event, and an increased arousal or reactivity (for example: feeling "on edge," angry outburst, hypervigilance). Fortunately, effective treatments for PTSD are available. 

The following resources are provided to you as you pursue and progress through treatment:

PTSD and Memory

Treatment of Post Traumatic Disorder (PTSD): The Linen Cupboard Metaphor

The HPA Axis and Trauma

Fight or Flight Response

Managing a Crisis