POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) PTSD occurs after witnessing a life-threatening experience. This condition is prevalent among veterans, and is also common in victims of violent crimes, abuse, accidents, natural disasters, and other psychologically traumatic events.
Symptoms of PTSD may occur immediately after the event, or several months later. It is expected to be in shock for a few hours to a few days after any highly stressful experience. However, if the symptoms interfere with your daily life to a significant degree, or if the symptoms persist for more than 4 weeks, professional treatment may be necessary.
People with PTSD often have difficulty sleeping, may feel more “on edge” than normal, and can have flashbacks or disturbing thoughts that interrupt their daily activities. Some people will block out memories of the traumatic event, or become emotionally “numb” in an attempt to avoid the stress caused by the experience. Many people with PTSD will feel depressed or detached from others, and often turn to alcohol or substance abuse to medicate their depression or anxiety.