Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, was officially recognized as a medical condition by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980.

It is a medical condition related to fear and terror caused by something traumatic happening. PTSD is when the emotional effects of the trauma stays with someone long after the end of the traumatic event.

Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Bad dreams
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sudden frightening thoughts
  • Feeling constant guilt, depression, or worry, or feeling numb
  • Feeling tense, or on edge
  • Angry outbursts
  • Being easily startled
  • Avoiding places that trigger memories of the trauma
  • Severe emotional or physical reactions to anything that triggers memories of the trauma.

PTSD can be very disabling, depending on the symptoms and the circumstances around them. Symptoms such as flashbacks, being easily startled, and frightening thoughts can all keep you from focusing on the work you’re supposed to be doing. It can be impossible to interact with coworkers and the general public if you are acting oddly because you are dealing with the mental effects of the condition. If you can’t sleep, you would be too tired to function.

The most commonly known cause of PTSD is combat. However, the condition does not necessarily have to be caused by combat. Other extremely stressful situations, such as a car accident or long-term abuse, can also cause PTSD. Scientists believe that some people are more predisposed towards developing PTSD, because of genetics or brain structure. Treatment for PTSD includes both counseling and medication.

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