Could Your Recurring Nightmares be Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), “is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault,” according to the American Psychiatric Association. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), shares that PTSD can also occur with depression, substance abuse and other anxiety disorders and that women are twice as likely to be affected than men. PTSD can develop at any age.

The ADAA explains that a diagnosis of PTSD is made after a person experiences symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. Some symptoms may take months or even years to appear. There are three main types of symptoms according to the ADAA:

  1. Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.
  2. Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma.
  3. Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered.

Treatment for PTSD may involve psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. This depends on the individual. The most important part is to be under the care of a reputable mental health professional who understands PTSD.

To discuss your treatment options with a healthcare professional, for mental health referrals, and to schedule an annual physical at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.