To be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) refers to behaviors that develop over a long period of time after the onset of a traumatic event – either experiencing it or witnessing it.
Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Most people who will go through a traumatic event will need time to recover from it, but when time (months or even years) and self-care doesn’t allow the person to get better or if the symptoms get worse (interfere in the person’s daily life), then we speak about PTSD.
Most of the time symptoms will fall into two categories: re–experimentation of the trauma and avoidance and/or escape behaviors. The person will have very intense reactions when exposed to stressors (situations, people) related to the traumatic event, or when thinking about it or visualizing it. They will most likely experience a very high intensity of horror and fear. This can also lead to the appearance of dissociative symptoms, such as de-realization or de-personalization.