Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after someone experiences a traumatic event or witnesses one. Below is information about recognizing the signs of PTSD and tips for prevention.
What causes PTSD?
Events that can lead to PTSD include military combat, childhood abuse, sexual violence, physical assault, an accident or natural disaster, loss of a loved one or working in a profession that exposes someone to traumatic situations.
Signs and symptoms
- Intrusive memories or flashbacks of the event
- Avoidant or aggressive behavior
- Negative cognitive changes and emotional decline
- Difficulty sleeping and concentrating
- Lack of self-care
Coping with stressful situations
- Reach out to family and friends for support
- Take time to work through your thoughts and feelings
- Incorporate healthy coping methods into your daily life
- Find a support group or seek professional counseling
How to support a loved one
- Respect their boundaries and privacy
- Listen when they are ready to talk
- Offer to attend doctor visits
- Plan activities together
- Help create a support system