Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when an individual is unable to recover from a traumatic event that they either experienced or witnessed. We often hear about PTSD in relation to war veterans, but PTSD can, and does occur outside of the battlefield. For example, an individual may experience PTSD after a car accident. They may have flashbacks to the traumatic event whenever they try to drive a car again. They may even find it unbearable to be a passenger.
People may experience PTSD from a variety of incidents including (but not limited to):
It is still not entirely clear why some people experience PTSD after a traumatic event while other don't. Some factors that may play a role are a person's support network, coping strategies, and overall mind-body awareness during and after the event.
Regardless of a person's resiliency and network, it is still important that they fully process the event in order to increase their ability to heal from it.