National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis


PTSD symptoms usually start to occur directly after a traumatic event, but sometimes it may take months or years for them to show up. They may also come and go over the course of many years. Read more.


Combat, sexual assault, surviving a natural disaster or a terrorist attack are just some examples of traumatic psychological events that can cause PTSD. Events can happen once or be reoccurring and such examples would be ongoing physical abuse or an extended or repeated tour of duty in a war zone. Read more.


The American Psychiatric Association classifies PTSD as an anxiety disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV). If symptoms from a traumatic event continue through four weeks, PTSD is a possibility. Read more.