PTSD: National Center for PTSD
More PTSD Topics
“PTSD happens when symptoms we all experience following a trauma just don't go away.”
Dr. Carolyn Allard
More PTSD Topics
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There are common symptoms of PTSD. At the same time, living with PTSD is different for everyone. Learn more about the PTSD diagnosis, like how reminders of the trauma may affect you and how symptoms may be different as we age.
Avoidance is a common reaction to trauma. It is natural to want to avoid thinking about or feeling emotions about a stressful event. But when avoidance is extreme, or when it's the main way you cope, it can interfere with your emotional recovery and healing.
- Trauma Reminders: Anniversaries
The date of a traumatic event from your past may bring up feelings or distress, even years later. These "anniversary reactions" could make you upset or create more intense symptoms. Learn about common types of anniversary reactions and how you can cope.
- Trauma Reminders: Fireworks
Fireworks can be a trauma reminder for those who served in combat or went through a fire, explosion or gun violence. Learn tips to manage distress or host an event that is sensitive to those who are affected by fireworks.
- Trauma Reminders: Triggers
People respond to traumatic events in a number of ways, such as feelings of concern, anger, fear, or helplessness. Research shows that people who have been through trauma, loss, or hardship in the past may be even more likely than others to be affected by new, potentially traumatic events.
- Aging Veterans and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms
For many Veterans, memories of their wartime experiences can still be upsetting long after they served in combat. Even if they served many years ago, military experience can still affect the lives of Veterans today.
- Very Young Trauma Survivors
Trauma and abuse can have grave impact on the very young. The attachment or bond between a child and parent matters as a young child grows. This bond can make a difference in how a child responds to trauma.
- PTSD in Children and Teens
Trauma affects school-aged children and teenagers differently than adults. If diagnosed with PTSD, the symptoms in children and teens can also look different. For many children, PTSD symptoms go away on their own after a few months. Yet some children show symptoms for years if they do not get treatment. There are many treatment options available including talk and play therapy.
- History of PTSD in Veterans: Civil War to DSM-5
PTSD became a diagnosis with influence from a number of social movements, such as Veteran, feminist, and Holocaust survivor advocacy groups. Research about Veterans returning from combat was a critical piece to the creation of the diagnosis. So, the history of what is now known as PTSD often references combat history.