When we experience an event that is shocking, dangerous, terrifying, or a combination of all three, it is not uncommon to feel afraid, both during the event and for a time afterwards. For some, however, this fear can create biological changes to the nervous system that impact an individual’s “fight or flight” response to any situation perceived to cause harm. The significant impact of traumatic situations can cause those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, to feel frightened even if they are not in danger. If you think you or a loved one may have PTSD from a life-threatening event, there are some important signs that can help you determine whether it may be time to seek treatment.
PTSD is an emotional illness that can develop after exposure to a terrible event or living through a terrifying experience that results in psychological trauma. Symptoms can arise in an individual within three months of a traumatic incident, but they may also begin years afterward.