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Doctor and Patient


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

"After that road traffic accident, I always keep thinking about the situation at the time, as if I am having the accident again. I can't stop thinking about it even if I want to. I have nightmares of that accident again and again..."

What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

When people experience or witness major traumatic events, especially life-threatening one, they may develop some serious and persistent stress symptoms. If these stress reactions last for more than a month and affect daily activities, they may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. There is no specific time limit for the diagnosis to be made. Some people do not develop symptoms until many years after the traumatic event. In addition, not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will suffer from PTSD.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

  • Constantly feeling scared and helpless

  • Feeling numb

  • Patchy memory loss regarding the stressful event

  • Unable to concentrate at work

  • Repeated nightmares, mostly related to the event

  • Frequent recall of the incident

  • Avoid cues that resemble the incident

What are the events that can lead to PTSD?

  • Sexual assault

  • Road traffic accident

  • Violence or murder

  • Terrorist attacks

  • War

  • Natural disasters such as tornadoes, storms, earthquakes or tsunamis

  • Domestic violence in childhood


How to treat PTSD?

Medication and psychotherapy are both effective treatment methods:

  • Medication
    Studies have shown that antidepressants can help improve the symptoms of PTSD. If patients have sleeping problems, doctors can also prescribe hypnotics in the short term.

  • Psychotherapy
    Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can help patients monitor their own symptoms, reduce negative thoughts and maladaptive behavior patterns.


Most people who encounter traumatic events have the ability to recover themselves and will not develop the disorder. However, if the person has the following factors, they will have a higher chance of developing the illness:

  • Weaker stress coping

  • Past history of traumatic experiences

  • Having stressful life events

  • Lack of support from family and friends

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