Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD
is a mental condition triggered by a traumatic event that causes victims to
experience recurrent flashbacks of the event followed by acute stress, anxiety,
fear and panic. This lingering and debilitating stress can cause a series of
psychological and biological changes. Unlike any other Psychiatric disorder,
PTSD is triggered due to an unexpected and fearful stimuli in the environment
– for instance a distressing event like
domestic violence or sexual assault, serious accidents, natural calamities like
a tornado, or earthquake or even
terrorist attacks like the infamous 9/11.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
was formally recognized as a mental disorder after the famous Vietnam War,
where soldiers appeared to be in ‘shell shock’ even after they left the war
zone, fearfully recalling the trauma of
combat, and unable to adjust to life afterwards.
Fearful experiences during
natural disasters - tornadoes, tsunami, and earthquake leave victims devastated
and prone to PTSD symptoms. Fear for their life and a sense of acute danger
during the event gets etched in their memory, haunting them incessantly. Victims are unable to lead a normal life.
Is it necessary to seek medical care?
Traumatic events do cause
distress to most of us, but many bounce back from the trauma after a brief
period of agony. For some, the memories linger and cause a problem in their day
to day functioning. If symptoms last more than a month and begins to affect job
performance or normal functioning, then it is time to consult a mental health