Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition which can affect children and adults, and which can occur following exposure to actual death, or threat of death, or to serious injury or violence. The person can be either exposed directly, or be a direct witness, or have learnt that a next of kin has fallen victim to a traumatic event.
Symptoms may be seen immediately after the event or after a period of latency which may extend to several years. Symptoms involve neurovegetative hyperarousal (with sleep disorders especially), repetition syndrome (nightmares, flashbacks to the traumatic event) and avoidance behaviour.
In this disease, treatment strategies are available and can be effective. It is important to be able to combine them with psychotherapeutic management, with the best technique being EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).
This technique, discovered around 25 years ago, enables the brain to reprocess traumatic information and to remove the repetitive traumatic memory cycle.
Good read: Jacques Roques, Découvrir l’EMDR. Hardback, 2008