Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) you are often bothered by recurrent memories, thoughts, or dreams about a distressing event, or distress when reminded of the event. The event may be related to experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or life-threatening event such as assault, rape, seeing someone badly injured or killed, combat, accidents, or natural or man-made disasters.

Factors that may keep the PTSD going, typically include:

  • Using unhelpful strategies to avoid the memories.
  • Distorting the memories and overestimating the current threat of danger, making the distress worse.

Psychological help may involve talking about the traumatic situation in detail in order to reduce the high levels of distress associated with the memories and develop a more helpful understanding of the distressing memory. Treatment may also include reducing unhelpful behaviours e.g. avoidance.


Fear in itself is not dangerous - life can get easier.