What is PTSD?
PTSD can develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening or shocking event.
After this type of event, it’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel nervous or on edge, or have trouble sleeping. At first it might be hard to get back to work or school or carry on with normal activities, but most start to feel better after a few weeks or months. If it’s been longer than a few months and you’re still struggling, you might have PTSD.
For some people, symptoms might happen immediately and come and go, and for some symptoms might start much later. If symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause extreme distress, or interfere with your life, you may need help navigating the symptoms.
Symptoms might not be the same for everyone, and people experience them in their own way, however there are four different types of PTSD: reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, having more negative beliefs or feelings than normal, or feeling extra alert (hyperarousal). You might experience flashbacks, guilt, shame, numbness, have difficulty concentrating, startle easily, or act in unhealthy ways like using drugs or alcohol.
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