Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that results from being exposed to extraordinary situations which induce powerful emotional reactions that persist beyond the actual event. PTSD can also occur if a person experiences ongoing high levels of stress, from ordinary life, which last for an excessively long time. Individuals may also experience a single event that is life threatening such as warfare or natural disasters; or a series of events that induce similar powerful feelings that can cause PTSD. People with PTSD can find themselves being startled by sudden noises, having disturbed sleep, experiencing panic attacks, or avoiding specific places, events, or situations that might serve as a reminder of the original experience. PTSD sufferers may also experience emotional numbing, feelings of guilt, depression, or worry, or memory impairment. Flashbacks of the original event may occur and can be triggered by odors, or even sounds. Angry outbursts are not uncommon. Symptoms of PTSD can last a relatively short time and can subside. At times, symptoms can last an extended period of time and can interfere with one’s life activities. Therapeutic intervention consists of the careful application of psychotherapy, behavioral interventions, and meditation/mindfulness practice all of which can effect an individual’s nervous system response, to dampen reactions and to restore peace of mind.