Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a complex form of anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive flashbacks of traumatic situations such as sudden death, near-death tragedy, domestic violence and abuse, post-war experience and other abrupt and unexpected events. Signals of distress include nightmares, sleeplessness, anxiousness, avoidance of things that are related to the trauma, detachment from others and irritability.
Diagnosis of PTSD can take up to years after the occurrence of trauma. Symptoms usually start surfacing almost immediately. In severe instances, PTSD sufferers can lose the ability to speak due to extreme shock.