Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety that can develop if you have witnessed or experienced a frightening, life-threatening, or unsafe situation, often feeling extreme fear or helplessness.
Many people think that only veterans or people in the military can have PTSD, but it can affect anyone. There are many situations that can lead to PTSD, such as if you have been in a car crash; had a traumatic childbirth; or have been assaulted, sexually assaulted, or abused.
A common symptom of PTSD is experiencing flashbacks or nightmares about your traumatic experience. These can be very disturbing and upsetting, as you relive what happened and feel the same emotions.
Symptoms can include:
- Flashbacks or nightmares about the traumatic experience
- Not being able to recall some details of the traumatic experience
- Being very alert, e.g. jumping if you hear a particular sound or if someone touches you
- Avoiding reminders of the traumatic experience
- Negative thoughts and emotions, such as blaming yourself or other people; feeling isolated, lonely, or angry; or finding it difficult to feel happy
- Sleep problems
PTSD can severely impact your day-to-day life, making you feel lonely, isolated, angry or too anxious or scared to be in certain situations.
If you would like to learn more about PTSD and how we can help you, please see the booklet and video on this page.