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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was initially recognised from military psychiatry. It follows exposure to a traumatic event that is often exceptionally threatening to themselves or others.

PTSD may develop following one or repeated exposures to traumatic events.

It is characterised by having recurrent distressing memories or flashbacks of the event(s).

3 in 100 people may develop PTSD during their life.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatment

Simple approaches including exercise, improved sleep hygiene, and self-help can improve symptoms and reduce the impact on quality of life, particularly for mild symptoms.

Most patients will also benefit from an element of psychological therapy, including counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).

Medical management primarily involves the use of anti-depressants (e.g. paroxetine, mirtazepine). Benzodiazepines (e.g. diazepam) are occasionally used to reduce heightened anxiety states.

Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate benefit in symptoms or quality of life.