Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

As its name suggests, PTSD is the psychological fallout from experiencing a life-threatening event such as violence, war, an accident, or emotional and physical abuse.  Individuals with PTSD are likely to react to any experience that reminds them of the trauma (e.g., firecrackers sounding like gunshots).  They are likely to suffer from nightmares about the trauma, feel at times like they are reliving the traumatic events all over again, and stay away from places or events that are reminiscent of the trauma (e.g., not driving a car after an accident); they may also be unable to remember details of the event.

Other common symptoms of PTSD include sweating, heart racing, feeling “jumpy”, startling easily, angry outbursts, irritability, emotional numbness, guilt (e.g., survivors guilt), depression, loss of interest in activities, inability to have loving feelings, and a sense of a foreshortened future.

Dr. Cadow was a consultant to the Brentwood Veterans Administration Medical Center Vietnam-related post–traumatic stress reaction research project, assessing veterans with PTSD over a two year period.  She has evaluated and treated bank robbery victims, victims of violent crimes, and victims of traffic and other accidents.

© Barbara Cadow, Ph.D.  2015