Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more PTSD symptoms when you’re stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through. PTSD is a trauma disorder, however trauma may also arise in childhood or in response to any deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. It can cause feelings of helplessness, diminish the person’s sense of self and reduce their ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. Events that may cause trauma responses typically involve the loss of control, betrayal, abuse of power, helplessness, pain, confusion and/or loss.