What Causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?: During a traumatic experience, most people experience emotions that are intense, distressing or both. Sometimes, these responses will continue long after the event has ended, and your mind’s ‘emergency setting’ becomes its default setting.
If this starts to interfere with your daily functioning, you might have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These symptoms may result from changes in some regions of the brain that deal with emotion, memory, and reasoning.
Classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include flashbacks, avoidance, nightmares and ‘hypervigilance’ (where you are always being on your guard, feeling very anxious and having difficulty relaxing or sleeping). Untreated, this may develop into symptoms of depression and even substance abuse and addiction.
If your trauma was long-term or repetitive, particularly in your home or during your childhood, you might be diagnosed with Complex PTSD (C-PTSD, where you might experience difficulties with relationships and tend to avoid others and you may struggle with a loss of connection.
Both children and adults who have experienced trauma, PTSD or C-PTSD can benefit from therapy which helps you to start rebuilding a sense of safety after a traumatic event.