What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe and reaction to a traumatic event.
Traumatic events can involve the
experience of a natural disaster, such as a bushfire, flood, earthquake or
tsunami. They can also be caused by a person, such as a work place incident
(e.g. hold-ups, machinery accident), physical, emotional or sexual assault, car
crash, combat or torture.
Some traumatic events are more
likely than others to result in physical and emotional symptoms; these types of
events tend to be both severe and extreme and result in personal feelings of
intense fear, helplessness or horror.
Responses to trauma
or being witness to a traumatic event can result in significant emotional and
While it is
common to experience symptoms of stress following a traumatic event, these will
usually disappear within days or weeks.
person with PTSD, the symptoms are
more severe, last longer, sometimes for many years, and interfere with general
functioning, including work, academic, relationships, health and quality of
diagnosis of PTSD can only be made when at least one month has passed since the
trauma. If symptoms are significantly problematic within the first month, the
diagnosis used is Acute Stress Disorder.