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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most commonly known post-traumatic condition, which is often associated with soldiers returning from conflict zones and in the past has been referred to as “shell shock”. However PTSD effects people in a broad range of circumstances. PTSD can be triggered by a single traumatic event. It is possible to experience secondary trauma if you are supporting someone close to you through a traumatic experience.

People who experience or witness a series of traumatic events may develop what is increasingly understood as Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Dissociative disorders are also linked to survivors of trauma. Dissociation is a state where you may not feel present within yourself, like the world and people around you are distant or unreal.

Feelings of dissociation can occur in many circumstances and can be a symptom of a range of mental health conditions, including PTSD, depression and schizophrenia. When dissociation is the chief feature of a person’s day to day experiences and impacts upon their daily life, they may be diagnosed with a dissociative disorder. Dissociating is a natural response to trauma – it is a way of distancing yourself from the distressing events that are unfolding or continually occurring in your life.

Video insights: Living with post-traumatic disorders

How did PTSD affect you?

Does everyone experience PTSD in the same way?

How did you get your PTSD diagnosis and did it help?

How did you confront PTSD?

Can we change people’s perceptions of PTSD?

What does CBT involve and how did it help you to understand PTSD?

How does PTSD affect relationships and how can you support someone living with PTSD?