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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), (formerly Shell Shock, or Battle Fatigue Syndrome), can develop after a person has witnessed or experienced a traumatic or terrifying event, in which serious harm occurred, or was perceived as imminent.

Traumatic events include any event that is life-threatening event or could result in serious bodily injury: sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, natural disaster, sudden death of a loved one, accidents, and war. Family members, and medical and emergency rescue workers who witness trauma, can develop PTSD as well.

Traumatic events cause strong, emotional reactions; feelings that are entirely normal. However, some reactions may be delayed, only to resurface later, causing added anxiety, stress, and confusion. Intense feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, fear, nervousness, and horror can be frightening and overwhelming. Without treatment, reactions to guilt, rage, and shock can interfere with living and functioning normally.

People suffering from PTSD may experience increased arousal and hypervigilance, reliving an event in flashbacks and nightmares, and cope by avoiding people, places, situations, and things that bring the trauma to mind. People suffering from PTSD often withdraw from family and friends, and try to avoid life by succumbing to addictive behaviors.

Young children may experience PTSD symptoms as delays or regression in toileting, walking, hand/eye coordination, and communication/speech delays.


For children, early intervention is vital. Play Therapy can assist young children to recover a normal developmental schedule. Children can also benefit from Trauma Focused CBT (TF-CBT).

For adolescents, TF-CBT is recommended.

For adults, a trauma focused treatment is highly effective for treating PTSD. Trauma specific treatments include: Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and EMDR.

Prompt therapeutic intervention saves lives!

PTSD/Trauma specific treatment available at WTCG:

National Center for PTSD: PTSD Treatment Decision Aid- provides detailed information about the trypes of treatment available and help individuals select the option that is the best match

More information about PTSD: