When a person experiences a traumatic event that has threatened their life or safety, or the safety of those around them, they can be left with intense feelings or fear and helplessness. This can trigger responses such as avoidance, intrusive thoughts and high reactivity. This is called post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
A person may develop PTSD after a traumatic event such as a car crash, physical or sexual assault, war or torture, or natural disasters such as bushfires or floods.
Many people show symptoms of PTSD in the first few weeks after a traumatic event but recover on their own with the support of family and friends. Others may require treatment and support from health professionals.
Effective treatment for PTSD involves a mix of inpatient psychiatric care and outpatient psychological services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused stress and anxiety for the population at large, but how does a global historical event of this scale, especially one tied to health and medical care access, affect mental health in pregnancy, family and infants?View more >
On average, one in three women and one in five men experience anxiety. But, when it’s happening to you, it is easy to feel as if you are the only person on Earth affected by it. So why do we get anxiety? And what can we do to manage it?View more >