Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Most people are likely to experience a potentially traumatic event in their lifetime, and most individuals recover well, given time and adequate social support.
For some individuals however, the experience of a traumatic event or chronic exposure to trauma can trigger symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Key Points

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) refers to a set of symptoms that can emerge following the experience of a traumatic event that involves exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. Exposure to such events can be through:

Without treatment, PTSD can become a chronic condition, and places the individual at greater risk of developing other mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety, or problems with alcohol or drug use.3 With sound psychological intervention however, the chances of recovery are good


Symptoms are characterised by:

A sense of reliving the traumatic event

Avoidance and numbing

Negative thoughts and mood

Feeling wound up

A diagnosis of PTSD is made when these symptoms are present for more than one month and cause significant distress, or interfere with important areas of functioning, such as work, study, or family life.

Seeking Help

If the distress associated with a traumatic event has been affecting a person’s work, school, or home life for more than two weeks, psychological assistance should be considered. Psychologists are highly trained and qualified professionals, skilled in diagnosing and treating a range of mental health concerns, including PTSD. A psychologist can help you to identify and manage the factors that contribute to your distress.

If you are experiencing similar problems, contact us.