stress disorder, or PTSD, is the result of any event that causes
extreme fear and anxiety.
disasters such as earthquakes
war experiences, victims of crime,
injuries, plane crashes, car
accidents or childhood trauma can bring on some of the
most common symptoms.
the case of the 911
attack in New York City, the anniversary of the event may
be especially painful. Similarly, any evocative circumstance,
such as a car backfire or explosion, may set off memories
in war veterans.
in fact, were the first to call widespread attention to the
condition, especially during the post-Vietnam War era. Today,
according to a 2008
study, a high percentage of armed forces Iraq War veterans
(or 1 in 5) also suffer from major depression or "post-deployment"
Along with physical damage, natural disasters can leave long-
lasting psychological effects.
symptoms, a person may be suffering from post-traumatic
stress may show emotional detachment and numbness. They may also experience insomnia,
nightmares and persistent and frightening flashbacks as
the mind and emotions try to process and reprocess what has
happened following the event.
on the person, and the emotional support found in friends
and family, recovery may be quick and assured. In other cases,
as when symptoms go unrecognized, a person suffering from
the disorder may resort to violent behavior, exhibit related
eating disorders, or descend into alcoholism
cases, a person who has lived through a traumatic incident
may initially exhibit no symptoms for weeks or months afterwards.
In other cases it may take years, as sometimes seen in victims
of child abuse who may "bury" the incident until reaching adulthood.
awareness of the condition, schools and hospitals are better
equipped with information and public service classes providing
increased emotional support, especially for victims of public