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Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that can occur any time after a traumatic event. A traumatic event can be defined as an event where we can see that we are in danger, or where we witness other people dying or being injured; however, even hearing about an unexpected death or injury of a close friend or family member can lead to PTSD.
PTSD symptoms usually develop immediately after a traumatic event; however, in some cases (less than 15%) symptom onset may be delayed by weeks, months and sometimes even years. In PTSD there may be times where symptoms slip into remission, bringing a false sense of security only to bring disappointment when symptoms return to the same initial level.
The symptoms of PTSD can be separated into three core symptoms and then other symptoms:
- Substance abuse
- Physical symptoms (sweating, shaking, dizziness, upset stomach, headaches, chest pain)