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Depression is a medical condition that leads to intense feelings of sadness or despair. These feelings don't go away on their own. They are not necessarily related to a particular life event

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
      Category : Health Centers > Mental Health (Mental Disorders)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Alternate Names : PTSD, Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition resulting from a traumatic event outside the range of a person's normal experience.

What is going on in the body?

PTSD is a psychological reaction to a catastrophic event outside of the individual. Researchers have identified changes in the central and autonomic nervous systems in people with PTSD. Changes in hormone systems have also been identified.

There are three types of PTSD reactions:

  • acute, in which symptoms last less than 3 months
  • chronic, in which symptoms last longer than 3 months
  • delayed, in which symptoms start at least 6 months after the actual trauma occurs
  • What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    PTSD is caused by exposure to excessive stress or trauma. Events that spark the condition are not normally part of most people's life experience. Events that can trigger PTSD include the following:

  • child abuse
  • high school violence, including shooting incidents
  • imprisonment
  • man-made disasters, such as bombings
  • natural disasters, such as earthquakes
  • plane crashes
  • severe assault
  • sexual abuse, including rape
  • torture
  • war
  • Not everyone exposed to such events will develop PTSD. It is not known why some individuals develop PTSD. However, having strong support systems lessens a person's risk of the disorder.


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    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 08/20/01

    Alternate Names : Dysmenorrhea. Menstrual cramps are the pain and cramping some women experience during their monthly periods. The term dysmenorrhea usually refers to pain and cramps severe enough to prevent normal activity

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