Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop after a person has been exposed to or witnessed a physically, sexually, or emotionally traumatic event. While it is common for individuals to experience emotional distress following a traumatic event, PTSD develops for some individuals as an ongoing reaction that includes significant and impairing emotional, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms.
PTSD affects up to 5% of adolescents and 3.5% of adults. The prevalence of PTSD is higher among veterans and in certain occupations (e.g., police, firefighters, emergency medical professionals), with the highest rates experienced by those exposed to rape and military combat and captivity.
Individuals with PTSD may have great difficulty functioning across social, interpersonal, developmental, academic, occupational, and medical health domains.
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