What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can develop following a traumatic event that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless. Most people associate PTSD with battle–scarred soldiers–and military combat is the most common cause in men–but any overwhelming life experience can trigger PTSD, especially if the event feels unpredictable and uncontrollable. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect those who personally experience the catastrophe, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including emergency workers and law enforcement officers. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma. PTSD develops differently from person to person. While the symptoms of PTSD most commonly develop in the hours or days following the traumatic event, it can sometimes take weeks, months, or even years before they appear.     Traumatic events that can lead to PTSD include: War Natural disasters Car or plane crashes Terrorist attacks Sudden death of a loved one Rape Kidnapping Assault Sexual or physical abuse Childhood neglect The difference between PTSD and a normal response to trauma The traumatic events that lead to post-traumatic stress disorder are usually so overwhelming and frightening that they would upset anyone. Following a traumatic event, almost everyone experiences at least some of the symptoms of PTSD. When your sense of safety and trust are shattered, it’s normal to feel crazy, disconnected, or numb. It’s very common to have bad dreams, feel fearful or numb, and find it difficult to stop thinking about what happened. These are normal reactions to abnormal events. For most people, however, these symptoms are short-lived. They may last for several days or even […]