Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is categorized as an anxiety disorder with several major conditions/criteria that need to occur in order to reach a diagnosis. The major categories include: having experienced a traumatic event and being very frightened by it; re-experiencing the traumatic event; avoidance of subsequent events that are similar or reminders of the event; a numbing of feelings and responsiveness as compared to how you felt before the traumatic event; and physical hyperarousal of the person while going through such situations.
PTSD symptoms usually appear within several weeks of the trauma, but some people don"t experience symptoms until months, even years, later. PTSD can last up to six months for some people while others may experience symptoms for much longer. It is important to understand that people respond differently to trauma. Some people will have a few problems, and these problems may go away without treatment. Others will need support and some kind of treatment before they can move forward with their lives.