The Basics of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The Basics of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

50 year old woman PTSD is a stress disorder caused by experiencing, witnessing, learning about, or having repeated exposure to threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. Women are more than twice as likely as men to experience PTSD. Veterans, refugees, victims of domestic abuse, and first responders are among the populations at risk of PTSD.

With PTSD, nightmares, flashbacks, and recurrent thoughts of the experience interfere with daily life. People may avoid reminders; be emotionally withdrawn; and be overly irritable, have insomnia, or startle badly and easily.

Common causes of PTSD include exposure to:

  • War, conflict zones, or acts of terrorism
  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Domestic violence, sexual abuse, assault