If a person with PTSD has feelings of self-harm or suicide, this is a medical emergency. Dial your Emergency Services for an ambulance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

PTSD is caused by traumatic experiences that involve death, serious injury or sexual violence (real or perceived). This includes assault, active war service, torture and others.

Everyone responds to trauma differently. Even if an event makes someone very distressed, most will recover on their own.

Symptoms of PTSD can vary greatly, from subtle changes in day-to-day life, to distressing flashbacks or physical anxiety. The main symptoms of PTSD are:

  • re-experiencing the trauma (memories, nightmares or flashbacks)
  • negative thoughts and mood
  • having a physical response to thoughts and feelings