Posttraumatic stress disorder
Butler, Robert W. Department of Psychology, Child Development and Rehabilitation Center, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon.
Last reviewed:March 2019
Show previous versions
- Causative factors
- Physiological changes
- Associated disorders
- Psychotherapeutic methods
- Pharmacological methods
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An anxiety disorder in some individuals who have experienced a stressful and traumatic event that poses a direct threat to the individual's or another person's life. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating mental-health condition that is triggered in some individuals after being exposed to a highly traumatic event; these events include exposure to war combat, natural or human-caused disasters, physical attack, sexual assault, and childhood abuse. As with other anxiety disorders, the characteristic features of posttraumatic stress disorder are fear (particularly in the ongoing absence of a real-life threat to safety) and avoidance behavior. People typically develop posttraumatic stress disorder shortly after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, but it may take many months, or even years, to develop. People of all ages can be affected by this disorder (Fig. 1), and the sufferers of this condition experience severe anxiety and flashbacks, have trouble sleeping or have nightmares, are prone to angry outbursts, and feel lonely, overly worried, and depressed. See also: Anxiety disorders; Mental disorders; Stress (psychology)
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information