Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that can be set into motion following a traumatic experience, whether a person has lived through the traumatic event or witnessed a life-threatening situation. These traumatic events may include a natural disaster such as a hurricane, war, terrorist incident, physical abuse, sexual assault, or a major accident.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, once referred to as battle fatigue syndrome or shell shock can have a lasting effect on an individual. Common symptoms associated with this condition include feelings of distress, intense fear, nervousness, helplessness, anger, shame or even guilt following a traumatic experience. These are common reactions for individuals having experienced a traumatic event, but for an individual with post-traumatic stress disorder these feelings continue and even increase with intensity over time with the consequence of preventing a person from enjoying the normalcies of life. The severity and duration of this condition can also vary.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is treatable and is critical to an individual’s recovery. Treatment options could include any of the following: psychotherapy including cognitive behavioral therapy, medication therapy or support groups.

For information about how to access help or a referral to a specialist for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, contact the RWJBarnabas Health Behavioral Health Network Access Center at 1-800-300-0628.