What is PTS & PTSD?

“No diagnosis in the history of psychiatry has had a more dramatic and pervasive impact on law and
social justice than Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”

Stone, 1993

“Since its introduction into DSM-III in 1980, no other DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) diagnosis, with the exception of Dissociative Identity Disorder (a related disorder), has generated so much controversy in the field as to the boundaries of the disorder, diagnostic criteria, central assumptions, clinical utility, and prevalence in various populations”
First & Jerome, 2007


What’s in the name?

Post– after      Traumatic – Wounded      Stress – form of stress      Disorder or Injury

What is PTS?

  • Trauma and stressor-related injury caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
  • Sufferer relives a traumatic event:
  • Many symptoms that affect both mind and body.
  • The symptoms are:
    Severe and persistent
    Significant impact on person’s day-to-day life.
  • Can develop immediately after an experience or occur weeks, months or years later.

What is PTSD?

  • PTSD is a very specific diagnostic label, with strict criteria.
  • Not meeting the criteria doesn’t mean you aren’t suffering from PTS.
  • Recognition and assessment of PTS is the only pre-requisite for treatment.
  • Do you need a diagnosis?
  • Legally you may need a diagnosis.
  • Personal, you may personally feel better by having something down on paper.
  • You can think of PTSD as a marriage certificate. You don’t need to be married to know you love someone or want to spend your life with someone but there are legal advantages and disadvantages, and there are personal reasons as to why you would or wouldn’t wish to get married.

Causes of PTS
Potentially Traumatic Events (PTEs):

  • Serious road accidents
  • Violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
  • Prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect
  • Witnessing violent deaths
  • Military combat
  • Being held hostage
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis
    (NHS Choices 06/09/2015)

Main Symptoms of PTS

  • Re-experiencing
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Flashbacks
  • Sensory – visual, auditory and olfactory
  • Hyperarousal
  • Increased psychological and physiological tension
  • Hypervigilance
  • Anxiety
  • Heightened startle responses
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Avoidance and emotional numbing
  • Trauma related reminders, thoughts and feelings
  • Negative thoughts

Personal Changes


  • Heightened emotional reactivity
  • Violent outbursts
  • Crying at small triggers
  • Reckless/self-destructive behaviour
  • Dissociation/disconnection/emotional numbing
  • Unable to experience pleasure or positive emotions
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feelings of shame or guilt
  • Difficulties in sustaining relationships
  • Occasional close/intense relationships but no long-term emotional engagement
  • Consistent avoidance, derision or lack of interest in relationships and social engagement

Observational Changes


  • Poor co-worker interactions
  • Emotional outbursts
  • No longer socialising
  • “Sorry, I’m busy tonight”
  • Arguing with partner/children
  • Work interruptions
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Excessive drinking, eating, gambling, exercise
  • Work tardiness or excessive work hours
  • Absenteeism and physical problems
  • “Sorry, I won’t be in today, I have a cold”
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Drop in work performance
  • Inappropriate use of internet
  • Tiredness

Get in Touch

Email: support@ptsd999.org.uk
Telephone: 07957 252955

PTSD999, c/o Helen Peak, Mapus-Smith & Lemmon LLP, 30 Old Market, Wisbech, Cambs PE13 1NB

PTSD999 is run entirely by volunteers.  In furtherance of our objects our main goal is to
complete a social mission and to make a positive difference to the world.

PTSD999 is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, company number 10622791.
Registered office as above. We are in the process of registering with the Charity Commission