Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can happen after a serious traumatic incident or many traumatic events. Any event or incident can be considered traumatic if it is very upsetting, scary, shocking or causes physical or emotional harm directly (to them) or indirectly (to someone else). As people cope and manage with situations differently, people will experience traumatic situations differently and will cope differently. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will experience psychological trauma (or PTSD). People who are traumatised and experiencing PTSD may experience symptoms such as:
• flashbacks (this is when a person may feel or act as though a traumatic event is happening again)
• anxiety and feeling ‘on edge’
• up and down emotions (such as feeling tearful, irritable or numb)
It is very important to know that it is normal to experience the above symptoms for the first month after a traumatic experience.
Complex PTSD is a more serious reaction to a long-lasting traumatic experience, for example abuse, neglect or frequent violence.