PTSD can occur if you have experienced or witnessed life-threatening events.
These might be military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents or violent personal assaults like rape.
Most survivors of trauma tend to improve during the first six to nine months after the incident, however after that time there is a tendency for the symptoms to persist and although the sufferers make strenuous efforts to return to normal, the symptoms do not improve and indeed in some cases, the symptoms actually become more pronounced and interfere to a greater extent with day to day life.
Do you relive your experience through nightmares and flashbacks? Do you have difficulty sleeping? Do you feel detached? If you do, you could be suffering from PTSD. Untreated these symptoms can become debilitating.
Treatment both with medication and psychotherapy, particularly using Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) can achieve considerable improvement in symptoms.