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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

UBC PATHS Blog Post: Jan 30, 2023

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a disorder that is developed by individuals who have experienced a traumatizing event in the past. Events encountered in their daily lives, such as situations or sounds that resemble those that were present during the actual event, can trigger feelings of fear and panic that were initially felt during the time of trauma.

Effects and Symptoms

  • Intrusive memories:

    • Recurring, unwanted memories of the traumatic event

    • Flashbacks of the traumatic event

    • Nightmares

  • Avoidance:

    • Avoiding thinking/discussing traumatic events

    • Avoiding specific locations, activities, or people

  • Negative thoughts and moods:

    • Negative thoughts of self, others, and the world

    • Feelings of hopelessness

    • Feeling emotionless

  • Altered reactions:

    • Easily startled or frightened

    • Difficulties sleeping

    • Increased irritability or aggressive behaviour


  • Although no direct cure for PTSD exists as of yet, there are a variety of ways to mitigate the symptoms of PTSD

    • Medications exist to treat a variety of PTSD symptoms such as anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds, as well as certain medications that may suppress nightmares

    • Taking care of your physical and mental health can help manage the symptoms of PTSD. For example, reducing stress, following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and giving yourself time to relax

Did You Know?

  • 70% of adults experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime

  • 1 in 13 people will develop PTSD at some point in their life

  • About 8 million people have PTSD in a given year

Connection to Alzheimer's

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder has recently been identified as a potential risk factor for developing dementia

  • Studies have shown that there might be a correlation between childhood PTSD and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease later in life


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