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Post-traumatic stress disorder

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:48 pm
Post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD (P-T-S-D), is an acquired mental condition that manifests itself following a psychologically distressing event outside the range of normal human experience. This disorder presumes that the person experienced a traumatic event or events involving actual or threatened death or injury to themselves or others, such as violence, abuse, or during a war. People who suffer from PTSD may experience fear, helplessness, or horror in response to traumatic events. Symptoms may include intrusions, such as flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance, or hyperarousal (hi-per-uh-ROW-sal). General symptoms of PTSD may include depression, sadness, fatigue, spontaneous crying, or difficulty making and carrying out decisions. Physical symptoms of PTSD may include constipation or diarrhea, sweating, loss of appetite, or heart palpitations. Treatment may include medication, cognitive therapy, classes regarding stress management and coping skills, and individual or group therapy. For more information about PTSD, contact a healthcare specialist.
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