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Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an emotional and behavioral disturbance that may occur after exposure to an exceptional stressful, threatening or catastrophic event.  Exceptionally stressful events include:  combat, disasters, life threatening accidents, witnessing violent death or mutilation of others, torture, sexual assault, violent crimes, and threats of serious injury or death.   People with PTSD go to great lengths to avoid any stimuli, emotions or conditions that remind them of the trauma.  The brain also causes the entire system to go into a highly aroused state and to be “on the lookout” for even the slightest hint of a traumatic event similar to the one that produced the extreme stress reaction of the PTSD in the first place.

So, what can a person with PTSD do:  participate in crisis and stress management programs; obtain a psychological evaluation to confirm PTSD; learn about PTSD by reading books, and/or taking a class; accept appropriate help; and remember that most people recover from PTSD.  Several conditions are crucial for successful PTSD treatment:  1) Positive motivation and drive from the person with PTSD. 2) A trained and qualified mental health professional. 3) The right treatment program.

You are not alone in your struggle so seek out and tap as many resources as you need.

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