Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is usually associated with military combat situations

Although it can occur following any number of traumatic events such as:

  • An accident
  • Assault, burglary, mugging or rape
  • Bombings, natural disasters
  • Domestic violence
  • Surgery or hospitalisation
  • A life threatening illness
  • Childbirth
  • Sudden death of a loved one (including still birth or miscarriage)

PTSD occurs when we are exposed to an event or series of events that are beyond our usual life experience. It is connected with thoughts or feeling of extreme vulnerability and fear where there was a threat to our life or physical integrity.

PTSD is characterised by flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, avoidance, mood swings and anxiety. Often it feels as if the traumatic event happened very recently when it may have happened some time ago. Survivors often experience guilt, shame, depression embarrassment, worthlessness and helplessness. It is not uncommon for survivors of severely traumatic events to turn to alcohol or other substances in order to cope.

Melanie Phelps

Melanie Phelps Portrait

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