Post-traumatic stress (abbreviated from the term for its clinical diagnosis, PTSD) describes the severe mental and emotional disturbance that can result from experiencing or even witnessing a traumatic event or series of events, such as sexual assault, warfare, physical or emotional violence, or other threats on one’s life and safety. Symptoms may include disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams; sudden onset of mental or physical distress to unrelated stimuli; mood swings; personality alterations; and an increase in the fight-or-flight response. While the symptoms of post-traumatic stress can be severe and debilitating, there have been many breakthroughs in a wide range of effective treatments.
If you or someone you know is in immediate need of support, please seek professional help. If you are in crisis, here are some immediate free resources.