Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that can be triggered by experiencing or witnessing something traumatic. Many people think of PTSD as a disorder that only military veterans deal withbut it can also occur in reaction to other distressing events like sexual violence, a physical assault, childhood or domestic abuse, a robbery, the sudden death of a loved one, a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. Women are more likely to develop it than men. Symptoms of PTSD may include vivid flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of anything or anyone that reminds them of the trauma, difficulty sleeping, irritability, being easily startled and feelings of numbness.
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PTSD can take a heavy toll on relationships. The symptoms of PTSD can also lead to job loss, substance abuse, and other problems that affect the whole family. In fact, trauma experts believe that face-to-face support from others is the most important factor in PTSD recovery. It can be very difficult for people with PTSD to talk about their traumatic experiences.
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