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United States Department  of Veterans Affairs

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Image of a soldier in distress
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may have felt afraid or felt that you had no control over what was happening.

Anyone who has gone through a life–threatening event can develop PTSD. These events can include:

  • Combat
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Violent crimes, such as rape, child abuse, or a physical attack
  • Serious accidents, such as a car wreck
  • Natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado, flood, or earthquake

After the event, you may feel scared, confused, and angry. If these feelings do not go away or get worse, you may have PTSD. These symptoms may disrupt your life, making it hard to continue with your daily activities. Getting Started

General Information: An overview of the condition, including symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and medications

Self–Management: Understand and track the condition through use of various health tools

Caregiver Information: Caregiver resources and when to get additional help

Reviewed/Updated Date: May 2009
Clinical Advisory Board Sponsor: Ken Weingardt
Clinical Subject Matter Experts: Jessica Hamblen, Anna Rosenberg
Patient Education Subject Matter Experts: Mara Davis

Related Links

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