Post-traumatic stress disorder

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Post-traumatic stress disorder

Page written and resources collated by Andi Baker, Senior Wellbeing Practitioner

This is a disorder that can develop after someone has been directly involved in or has witnessed a traumatic event such as actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual abuse. Events can include road traffic accidents, violent personal assault, childbirth experiences or experiences in war zones.

What is it?

Common symptoms are:

  • re-experiencing of the event through flashbacks, nightmares, sounds, smells or sensations which trigger a sense of being back at the event.
  • psychological alertness linked to the fight/flight response resulting in feeling on edge, difficulties sleeping and concentrating and resulting in irritability.
  • avoidance of reminders of the event and attempts to block it out.
  • changes in emotions with difficulties experiencing positive emotions.
  • changes in beliefs about self and others.

The above symptoms occurring and month or more after the traumatic event. It is thought that post-traumatic stress disorder is a result of changes in the brain following a traumatic event and difficulties in processing what has happened.

If you think that you have PTSD you should go and speak to your GP. Your GP may suggest medication or psychological treatments which include:

  • antidepressants to treat trauma.
  • eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing.
  • trauma focussed cognitive behavioural therapy.
  • yoga and mindfulness techniques, art therapy and advice on sleep can also help.


Self-help materials you can print, or download and save.

Resource Description
Trauma brain (getselfhelp) An explanation of changes in the brain linked to PTSD.
Post Traumatic Stress - NHS NTW Guide Information about PTSD and symptoms, treatments and relevant organisations.


Resource Description
Headspace Headspace is an app that teaches you how to meditate and relax.

Places to get help

Local and national organisations and websites.

Resource Description
Victim support
Tel: 0808 1689111
An organisation offering support and practical help to people who have experienced trauma.
Sheffield Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Service Sheffield (SRASACS)
Tel: 0808 802 0013
Offers confidential Helpline support as well as counselling and advice on giving support to others who have been raped or sexually abused.
Eva Women's Therapy Service
Tel. 0114 275 0101
A service provided through VIDA Sheffield, offers therapeutic services for women and girls affected by domestic and sexual abuse and trauma.

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