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Departments

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop after any trauma, including the experience of war, violent crime, sexual assualt, work place or Road Traffic Accidents. For many veterans or other defence personnel, PTSD develops following their military experiences.

PTSD entails that a series of behaviours and symptoms develop, which create a negative impact on an individual's wellbeing, their relationships, and employment.

Individuals living with PTSD may become easily angered or irritated. They may seem emotionally disconnected and socially withdrawn. They may become intolerant perfectionists, making unreasonable demands on family members.

The same individual may behave in quite different ways at different times and symptoms can be erratic and seemingly contradictory. PTSD is often experienced in conjunction with other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug misuse, and pathological gambling.

Signs and Symptoms

Individuals living with PTSD might experience some, or all, of the following symptoms:

  • Intense emotions or bodily sensations;
  • Difficulty relaxing, resting, sleeping, or concentrating;
  • Feeling empty, confused, exhausted, or disconnected;
  • Intrusive and unwelcome memories, nightmares, or flashbacks of the trauma;
  • Seriously affected work performance and/or social life;
  • Needing to remain active to avoid feeling upset;
  • Frequent or uncontrollable anger over little things;
  • Inability or unwillingness to share thoughts and feelings with anyone;
  • Relationships suffering and/or deteriorating;
  • Feeling 'burnt out';
  • Being on guard, jumpy, or easy to startle; and,
  • A loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed.

Though some of these symptoms may emerge soon after the trauma, it is also important to remember that PTSD can emerge long after a traumatic experience; sometimes years after the event. Importantly, it is never too early or too late to seek treatment. For more information about our treatment services, please contact the Veterans Psychiatry Unit.