Post traumatic Stress Disorder

Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

December 11, 2018

March 06, 2020

Post traumatic Stress Disorder
Post traumatic Stress Disorder

What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a fairly common psychiatric condition that occurs in people who have witnessed some deeply disturbing events in their lives. This has a deep impact on the psyche of some people and may interfere with their everyday lives. The patient may experience the condition in combination with other mental disorders like depression or panic attacks. At its worst, PTSD may incite suicidal behaviour.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

It is a psychiatric disorder with an array of psychobiological effects. The signs that are almost always associated are as follows:

  1. A history of experiencing or witnessing a stressful event.
  2. Re-experiencing the memories of that one event that include nightmares and (or) flashbacks.
  3. Efforts to avoid situations, places, and people that are reminders of the traumatic event to the point that this might interfere with everyday life functioning.
  4. Hyperarousal symptoms, such as irritability, concentration problems, and sleep disturbances.

The incident can vary from witnessing another person being killed/ badly injured, being in a life-threatening accident, having faced violence of intimate nature, being subject to sexual violence, experiencing a natural disaster, to being threatened with a weapon. 

What are its main causes?

In an era marred by terrorist activities, violent crime and abuse, military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents or violent personal assaults, traumatic incidents are not uncommon. Many of us get disturbed deeply with such stressful events, but after a few days or weeks manage to get over the sadness and resume routine lives.

Our body responds differently to the stress of a traumatic event. Normally, people work in a direction to cope with the stress. However, some people resort to an abandonment of ‘efforts’ and suppress any emotion or fear. This may lead to PTSD.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis can be made by assessment of certain self-reported or practitioner-assisted questionnaires and scales. These must be done very sensitively catering to the sensibilities of the patient. Treatment involves counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy, relaxation techniques and tremendous support from friends and family. Medicines may be prescribed, mostly antidepressants, depending upon the severity of the condition.


  1. Jitender Sareen et al. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adults: Impact, Comorbidity, Risk Factors, and Treatment . Can J Psychiatry. 2014 Sep; 59(9): 460–467. PMID: 25565692
  2. Javier Iribarren et al. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Evidence-Based Research for the Third Millennium . Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Dec; 2(4): 503–512. PMID: 16322808
  3. National Institute of Mental Health [Internet] Bethesda, MD; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. National Institutes of Health; Bethesda, Maryland, United States
  4. National Center for PTSD [Internet[ U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington DC; PTSD: National Center for PTSD
  5. Office on Women's Health [Internet] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  6. Mental Health. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Washington, D.C. [Internet]
  7. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  8. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
  9. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). [Internet]

Medicines for Post traumatic Stress Disorder

Medicines listed below are available for Post traumatic Stress Disorder. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.