Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition with various symptoms that revolve around anxiety that is caused by a traumatic event.  It is natural to feel a spike in stress after the occurrence of trauma, but this should subside and a person is expected to return to their normal functioning.  Post-traumatic stress disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences persisting anxiety and long lasting detriments to their ability to function.


  • Flashbacks and nightmares
  • Avoiding reminders of the event
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Feeling tense in certain environments
  • Emotional numbing
  • Substance abuse


A traumatic event may be directly experienced, witnessed, or learned about in order to cause PTSD, but everyone has different reactions to such events.  There are heightened risks associated with family history of anxiety and mood disorders, but there are individual personality characteristics that make a person more likely to develop PTSD after trauma.  Things like optimism and attitude toward adversity are personality dimensions that affect a person’s response to negative stimulus.  People with strong social support networks have an easier time healing than those without.


PTSD is a debilitating condition and it is crucial to seek treatment.  Psychotherapy is a primary means of helping a patient regain control of their lives.  A therapist will let a client talk through the traumatic experience in their office while making the client feel safe and understood.  The therapist will remain sensitive to the client’s needs but also begin to challenge negative patterns of behavior that were caused by the trauma and gradually expose the client to triggers.  Antidepressants and Anti-anxiety medications may also be used to alleviate the stress response the person feels to certain situations.

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Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists provide supportive, open communication, establishing secure foundations to help clients heal and grow.

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