Anybody can be exposed to a shocking or frightening experience which, in its wake, causes persistent anxiety, mood changes, sleep problems and difficulty forgetting the experience. It can become overwhelming and severely disabling.
Such experiences, with a variety of typical signs and symptoms, are often described as PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. This needs careful diagnosis and a treatment plan, often combining medication and psychological therapy, to fully overcome it.
Examples of experiences that may cause PTSD include either experiencing or witnessing a serious life-threatening event, being a victim of torture or abuse (either recent or long-past) but this list is not exhaustive.