Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Treatment

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved sertraline (Zoloft), a drug commonly used to manage depression, as the first medication specifically for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a pattern of behavior that develops after a traumatic event. A traumatic event in this context is defined as one that may bring serious injury or death to oneself or to another person. Traumatic events capable of causing post- traumatic stress disorder include kidnapping, natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc), physical and sexual abuse, combat, drug abuse, and near-death experiences.

Historically referred to as "soldier's heart" and "shell shock" because the behavior characteristic of post-traumatic stress disorder was seen in men after wartime combat, the symptoms and behaviors of post-traumatic stress disorder have been shown to occur in children, adolescents, and adults.

Constellation of changes in post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a constellation of changes in personality and behavior that begin after a traumatic event and persist for more than a month. Following the traumatic event, individuals who develop post-traumatic stress disorder may feel like the everyday world is no longer real and that they are in a dream- like state. They may feel that their minds are detached from their emotions as well as from their physical bodies, a condition referred to as dissociation.