Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Posttraumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that sometimes develops after a person has been exposed to or witnessed a physically or emotionally traumatic event. Such events may have left the person feeling intensely afraid or powerless to stop the situation, and can include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Warzone/combat stress
  • Rape/sexual assault
  • Physical assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Witnessing death or severe injury
  • Natural or man-made disasters

At the time of the event, traumatic experiences are often accompanied by feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or horror, and can result in a constellation of symptoms that can include:

  • Re-experiencing symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares of the event, frightening and intrusive thoughts and recollections of the event
  • Avoidance, including trying to stay away from situations that serve as reminders of the event, losing interest in activities that were previously enjoyable, having trouble remembering details of the event, feelings of guilt
  • Hyperarousal, including feeling easily startled, tense, or “on edge;” having difficulty sleeping; having angry outburst

If these symptoms seem relevant to you, we can help. Feel free to contact us by calling our main desk at (212) 246-5740.

The Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD) provides evidence-based treatments for all of the anxiety disorders, including: