What is Meant by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD?

PTSD is a disorder in which someone who has undergone serious stress, due to a major traumatic event which happened in his/her life, experiences psychological disturbances. These can be ongoing or be episodic.

The symptoms of can stay dormant and not surface for a prolonged period of time.

Developing a condition of depends on the nature, severity, and duration of the trauma the person experienced. It also takes into account the events which happened after the trauma.

So how do you know if you are experiencing ?

Common traumatic events include: assault, rape, car accidents, death of a loved one, severe injuries, natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

What are the symptoms you might display?

Nightmares or flashbacks

Emotional numbing

Social relationship problems

Feeling vulnerable

Alienation from others

Increased anxiety, guilt, anger, and arousal

Physical symptoms can include any of these: nausea, fever, loss of energy, loss of appetite, or severe migraines

Fortunately, the symptoms of usually decline over time.

With time individuals do recover from the experience, but in some cases the symptoms never disappear.

The frequency of is around 74 % in women and 81 % in men, as they reported experiencing some type of traumatic event in their life.

More people experience PTSD than one might realize. It is important for everyone to realize the signs and symptoms and deal with them accordingly or help a friend or loved one get through it.

The terrorist attack of 9/11 has caused fear in many people who did not experience the terrorist attack directly. Just try to imagine the traumatic experience the cleanup crews and rescue workers went through.

This is due to a couple of possibilities:

1. A loved one was the part of the terrorist attack and the loss of life has severely impacted the life of the individual.

2. The attack was close to home for some individuals and their safety was severely threatened, becoming a fear inducing event.

Do you have any children?

Believe it or not, TV shows that expose children to violence or traumatic events increase a child's chance of developing PTSD.

Why? Children have a hard time distinguishing fact from fiction.

How many children sleep with their light on because they're afraid of the dark or the monster under their bed?

If you think that you may be experiencing PTSD, discuss it with your doctor and seek the best help suitable for you.

Recall the event which happened.

Talk about how you feel.

Sometimes things happen in our life and they are beyond your control. Surround yourself with people who love you.

Seek support groups, if you are facing some type of difficult time in your life due to a traumatic event. Chances are you are not alone.

The worst thing you can do is to avoid the situation.

Avoidance is not the answer to traumatic events which have happened in your life.


The amygdala is a collection of cells near the base of the brain. There are two, one in each hemisphere or side of the brain.

This is where emotions are given meaning, remembered, and attached to associations and responses to them (emotional memories).

The amygdala is considered to be part of the brainís limbic system. Itís key to how you process strong emotions like fear and pleasure.