Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder.

It is characterised by direct exposure to a traumatic event (attack, accident etc.) or indirect exposure (next of kin having been exposed to a traumatic event).

Symptoms may show immediately or a long time after the traumatic event, sometimes up to several years later. The symptoms mainly include sleep disorders, nightmares, flashbacks to the event, avoidance of certain activities or places relating to the event. Anyone exposed to a traumatic event can develop these symptoms.

Untreated traumatic events can lead to depression, addictions and relationship problems.

Medical treatment and psychotherapeutic management techniques are available today. The psychotherapy technique seen to be the most effective in this disorder is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). It is a patient-centred technique used to reprocess the information blocked in the traumatic memory network.