Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was originally thought to be something only military service members and veterans faced. Now, we understand that this stress disorder can happen to anyone, especially those who experience an intense, often life-threatening, event.
PTSD differs from acute stress disorder in that the experiences are more long-term and will usually disturb daily life. An estimated 7.7 million Americans have suffered or are suffering from PTSD and another eight percent of the population will eventually develop the disorder.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, defines PTSD as an anxiety disorder triggered by exposure to actual death, the threat of death, serious injury and/or sexual violation. Symptoms can appear as soon as the episode ends or even years later. PTSD is a multidimensional disorder with many different causes and outcomes. Research has begun to explore the idea of five different subcategories that require different treatment methods.