Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Overview

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects approximately 3.5 percent of adult Americans amounting to about 5.2 million every year, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.

And women are twice as more likely to have PTSD than men because of the fact that women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, abuse, and rape.

Also, according to the National Center for PTSD, between 7 and 8 percent of the population experiences PTSD at some point in their lives. And PTSD can develop at any age, including childhood.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), usually called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome, is a serious mental disorder that can develop when a person is exposed or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which there was serious physical harm or threat.

And those with PTSD can have insomnia, low self-esteem, flashbacks and a lot of painful or unpleasant emotions. 

What Is Acute Stress Disorder

Acute stress disorder is an unpleasant, intense and dysfunctional reaction that begin immediately after an overwhelming traumatic event which last less than a month.

So, what causes acute stress disorder is the threat of death to oneself or others. And threat of serious injury to oneself or others or threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others.

And if the symptoms associated acute stress disorder persist longer than a month, patient are diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Causes

The traumatic event that lead to PTSD include sexual assault, warfare, serious accidents, traffic collisions, child abuse, childbirth experiences, such as losing a baby or other threats on a person’s life.

And exposure to traumatic events at work such as remote exposure, abuse or neglect, natural disasters, and serious health problems.

Also, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can actually develop after a very stressful, frightening or distressing event, or after a prolonged traumatic experience.

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What Are The Signs Of PTSD?

Majority of people that have traumatic event will have signs that may include shock, flashbacks, severe anxiety, nightmares and a persistent feeling of fear, anger, nervousness and even guilt.

So, those with PTSD, usually have these feelings continue to increase, and even become so strong to the extent that they keep the person from going about their life as expected.

And people that have had anxiety or depression in the past, and those who do not receive much support from family or friends, are more susceptible to developing PTSD after a traumatic event.

In fact, patient with PTSD have symptoms that last for longer than one month and can’t function as well as before the event that triggered it happened.

And the recovery time varies, some patient recover within 6 months, while others have it much longer.


  • panic attacks
  • struggling to concentrate, sleep, or eat
  • mood changes such as feeling hopeless, numb, or anxious
  • being easily startled
  • feeling overwhelming guilt or shame
  • negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world
  • feeling disinterested in your relationships, career, or hobbies
  • flashbacks, which may make you feel like you’re reliving the traumatic event
  • nightmares
  • feeling emotionally distressed when something reminds you of the event
  • engaging in self-destructive behavior, including substance use
  • self-harm
  • suicidal thoughts

Does PTSD Affect Memory?

Patient with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have issue in concentrating or have other problems with their memory, like memory loss.

So, memory and concentration problems are usually symptoms associated with PTSD. And they also be experiencing difficulties sleeping, and poor sleep affects a person’s ability to concentrate and stay focused during the day.

PTSD Treatment

PTSD can be treated whith both short- and long-term psychotherapy. 

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • Stress Inoculation Training.

And medications can also work very well. Because medications enable you to stop thinking about and reacting to what happened, such as nightmares and flashbacks.

Also, medications can also help you have a more positive outlook on life and feel more “normal” again. And the FDA has approve paroxetine and sertraline for treating PTSD.


Cannabidiol (CBD) may help reduce and manage symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in both topical and edible forms.

And study found evidence that drugs acting on the endocannabinoid system may reduce the symptoms that a person with PTSD experiences after a memory extinction procedure.

Because endocannabinoid system, that includes CBD receptors, can affect anxiety and memory, which are two factors that play a significant role in PTSD.

Also, a 2019 study has revealed that people with PTSD who use CBD capsules alongside traditional counseling saw a reduction in their symptoms.

In fact, research have showed that CBD oil when applied to the skin can effectively treat anxiety and sleeping problems in a child with PTSD.



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