Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a specific form of anxiety that comes on after stressful or frightening events, such as natural disasters, violence, rape, torture, and serious physical injury. It is diagnostically categorized as the normal experience of all people experiencing an event that is outside the range of normal human experience. Symptoms include recurring memories or dreams of the event, a sense of personal isolation, disturbed sleep and concentration, a deadening of feeling, irritability and painful feelings of guilt. Symptoms may begin immediately after the event or may develop many months later.

Flashbacks are memories of past traumas. They may take the form of pictures, sounds, smells, body sensations, feelings or the lack of them (numbness). Many times there is no actual visual or auditory memory. One may have a sense of panic, being trapped, feeling powerless with no memories stimulating it. These experiences can also happen in dreams.

Individuals who experience flashbacks often avoid situations and stimuli that they think triggered them. Consequently, they tend to isolate from others more and become socially withdrawn. Using alcohol and drugs to self-medicate is also quite common.

Flashbacks are a common symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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