PTSD can be caused by a range of experiences, from a car crash to rape to surviving a terrorist attack. But how do you know if you have it and what can you do?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after being involved in, or witnessing, traumatic events. A wide range of experiences can cause it, from being in a car crash, a traumatic childbirth, losing someone close to you in upsetting circumstances, being raped or assaulted, to surviving a terrorist attack or being in a war. Rachel Boyd, of the mental health charity Mind, says: “If you experience trauma, it’s natural that it has an impact on your life.” But not everyone will develop PTSD. However, she says, if you are affected for a long period or have intense symptoms – such as anxiety, reliving the event or nightmares – you could have PTSD. And it can take years for symptoms to emerge.