Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is anxiety caused by very frightening, stressful or distressing events.
It is normal to feel upset or confused after a traumatic event but if your feelings don’t naturally improve or become worse after a few weeks, you may need some additional help.
If you have repeatedly experienced traumatic situations, you may have complex PTSD. PTSD can be severe and can impact on your day-to-day life.
You can find more information about coping after a traumatic event here.
Symptoms can be different for everyone, but if you have PTSD you might often:
- Have flashbacks or nightmares, where you relive the traumatic event
- Feel tired and struggle to sleep
- Feel isolated, irritable or guilty
- Find it hard to concentrate
Talking therapies, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), might help you deal with the symptoms of PTSD. CBT tries to change the way you react to situations by adjusting the way you think and behave with ‘coping skills’.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is also an effective treatment for PTSD. This helps people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are a result from highly disturbing life events.
Sometimes it may be necessary to use medication to lessen your anxiety. You can see a list of medicines we might offer you on our Choice and Medication portal.
If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 free from a landline or mobile phone.
Open Minds offers a range of therapies aimed at helping you to deal with anxiety and should be your first port of call if you’re looking for support. You can self-refer to Open Minds online.
Safespace provides instant support if you’re vulnerable and need assistance with your mental health out-of-hours. You can speak to the team using Zoom or by calling in via telephone, between 6pm and 10pm, Monday to Friday.
Royal College of Psychiatrists: This page gives information on coping after a traumatic event.
Orcha Apps Library: This library lists thousands of NHS-approved health apps by condition, making it quick and easy for you to find support.
Every Mind Matters: This Public Health England campaign shares hints and tips developed with experts and approved by the NHS.