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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers. PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or hurricanes. People with PTSD may startle easily, become emotionally numb, lose interest in things they used to enjoy, have trouble feeling affectionate, be irritable, become more aggressive, or even become violent. They avoid situations that remind them of the original incident, and anniversaries of the incident are often very difficult. These symptoms of PTSD usually respond very well to psychotherapy.
Reduce the negative impact that the trauma has had on your life and return to a positive level of function. Begin to have effective coping skills to carry out your normal responsibilities and relationships. Stop destructive behaviors that allow escape and denial and promote healing, acceptance of past, and responsible living.