Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one’s own or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity. As presented in ICD-10, typical features include episodes of repeated reliving of the trauma in the form of intrusive memories (“flashbacks”), dreams or nightmares, a persistent sense of “numbness” and emotional blunting , detachment from other people, unresponsiveness to surroundings and avoidance of activities and situations reminiscent of the trauma. A state of autonomic hyperarousal with hypervigilance, an enhanced startle reaction, and insomnia are often present. Anxiety and depression are commonly associated with the above symptoms and signs, and suicidal ideation is not unusual.