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post-traumatic stress disorder

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(PTSD) an anxiety disorder caused by a major physical or emotional trauma, such as an injury, assault, rape, or exposure to warfare or a disaster involving many casualties. The onset is at least one month after the traumatic event. The patient experiences the persistent recurrence of images or memories of the event, together with nightmares, insomnia, a sense of isolation, guilt, irritability, and loss of concentration. Emotions may be deadened and depression may develop. The condition usually settles with time, but support and skilled counselling may be needed. More severe cases may be treated by eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), cognitive behavioural therapy, and/or SSRIs.

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