Once associated predominantly with veterans, knowledge about post-traumatic stress disorder has increased and now there is a wider appreciation for the fact that PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. And also, importantly, that what classifies as a traumatic event will depend on the individual and their circumstances. 

Trauma is a broad term to define anything that threatens to or succeeds in severely damaging the individual, be that physically, emotionally or psychologically. Trauma could mean being involved in a car accident, witnessing a violent attack, or it could mean receiving a serious diagnosis or the death of someone close to you, or it could mean repeated emotional neglect in childhood.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex issue that affects a wide range of people, and often in different ways. It differs from other mental health conditions by the fact that it is specifically triggered by the experience of a traumatic event; however, not all those who experience trauma will develop PTSD, and researchers believe your vulnerability to developing it lies in your genetics and previous life experiences. 

Symptoms of PTSD include recurring flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of emotional numbness or detachment, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, and feeling hypervigilant or on edge. 

We have had some excellent articles submitted to us on the topics of trauma and PTSD, some of which you can read here:

Do I have PTSD?

What is trauma?

Understanding trauma and flashbacks

Why I have PTSD

How EMDR can resolve trauma

How therapy unlocked the past for a client with trauma

Birth trauma: new mothers with PTSD

Dissociation: understanding the impact of relational trauma