Frequently Asked Questions - Ask A Doctor

First of all, PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder. Symptoms can include bad dreams, flashbacks about a traumatic event and hyperarousal, a state that might include being “on edge” a lot, being easily startled, or having problems sleeping or controlling anger. Another common symptom of PTSD is avoiding people, places and things (movies or songs, for example) that are reminders of a traumatic event.

Symptoms of what is known as “acute posttraumatic stress disorder” (PTSD) symptoms persist for less than three months following a traumatic experience. In another form known as “chronic PTSD,” symptoms last for three months or more.

In a third type of PTSD called “delayed onset PTSD,” a person experiences their first symptoms of the disorder at least six months following the traumatic event. So, yes, the initial symptoms can occur long after a traumatic event (or events) have taken place. The good news is that PTSD, regardless of when symptoms first appear, can be treated.

That’s a big question! People with depression may experience some or all of the following:

  • Sadness or unhappiness
  • Trouble sleeping—or sleeping too much
  • Little or no sex drive
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite, or a significant increase in appetite
  • Restlessness, trouble sitting still
  • Loss of energy, fatigue
  • Self blame, guilt, or a sense of worthlessness
  • Slowed thinking
  • Crying spells
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Unexplained headaches or back pain.

Depression affects people in different ways, and factors such as age, gender and family history can influence the symptoms of depression. If you or a person you know is having thoughts of suicide then it is important to get help right away. For example, you could contact a friend or family member, call a suicide hotline, or go to your hospital’s emergency room.