Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terribly frightening, life-threatening, unsafe experience or event.

PTSD is believed to be caused by experiencing any of a wide range of circumstances which produces intense negative feelings of fear, helplessness or horror in the observer or participant. Sources of such feelings may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

PTSD sufferers re-experience the traumatic event or events. They tend to avoid places, people, or other things that remind them of the event, and are keenly sensitive to normal life experiences.

Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while. But with time and taking care of yourself, such traumatic reactions usually get better. In some cases, though, the symptoms can get worse or last for months or even years. Sometimes they may completely shake up your life. In a case such as this, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder

Getting treatment as soon as possible after post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms develop may prevent long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear or apprehension that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening.

When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying. They may have duration of several minutes to hours.

Panic attacks are triggered by a situation from which the sufferer desires to escape, some sufferers may make frantic efforts to escape, which may be violent if others attempt to contain the sufferer. Some panic attacks can subside on their own over the next several hours.

Many people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes, and the problem goes away, perhaps when a stressful situation ends. But if you’ve had recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and spent long periods in constant fear of another attack, you may have a condition called panic disorder.

Panic attacks were once dismissed as nerves or stress, but they’re now recognized as a real medical condition. Although panic attacks can significantly affect your quality of life, treatment can be very effective.