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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop in some people after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened.  It can result from a tragic incident in which the person who develops it may have been the victim or witness of a violent personal attack, natural or human-caused disaster or accident. PTSD can develop in people of any age, including children and adolescents.

    People with PTSD often relive the trauma in their thoughts during the day and in nightmares when they sleep. These are called flashbacks. Flashbacks may consist of images, sounds, smells or feelings, and are triggered by ordinary occurrences such as a door slamming or a car backfiring on the street.

    Symptoms of PTSD

    • Experience emotional numbness – have trouble feeling affectionate
    • Avoidance of people, places, and thoughts connected to the event
    • Hyperarousal, which may result in sleeping difficulties, exaggerated startle response, and hypervigilance.
    • Lack of interest in things previously enjoyed
    • Irritable, aggressive or violent behavior

    Symptoms usually begin within three months of the incident and must last more than a month to be considered PTSD. Occasionally symptoms can emerge years afterward. Other disorders that frequently occur with PTSD include: depression, other anxiety disorders and substance abuse.

    What you can do to help

    If you believe you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of a post-traumatic stress disorder, don't wait for the problem to go away by itself. Get help now.

    When you need someone to talk to, turn to Belmont Behavioral Health at 1-800-220-HELP (4357) or 215-877-2000.

    Treatment Services - Post-traumatic stress disorder

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