Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder brought on by a severely traumatic experience. These experiences can include actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others. Such trauma can result from military combat, sexual assault, robbery, mugging, kidnapping, terrorist attack, torture, internment as a prisoner of war, natural or manmade disasters or accidents, or being diagnosed with a life threatening illness.
PSTD can manifest itself in many ways, but, most commonly, a person suffers recurrent and intrusive recollections, “flash backs,” or dreams. In order to avoid recalling the original trauma, an individual may make deliberate efforts to stay away from certain activities, situations, and conversations. Symptoms can include anxiety, exaggerated startle responses, irritability, outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating or completing tasks, and difficulty falling or staying asleep out of fear of recurrent nightmares.