Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when a traumatic event or events, or a prolonged period of traumatic life experiences are not processed in such a way that they can be integrated into one’s own experience.
The corresponding symptoms often occur only after a longer period of time has passed (months or even years). It is then sometimes difficult to make a connection with the stressful event. However, the symptoms may also occur directly after the experience. The essential point is that they fail to recede or disappear, but continue to develop in a disruptive manner.
Some people try to avoid anything that reminds them of the event because they find the feelings and thoughts they experience too burdensome. This prevents the processing of events, leading not to a disappearance of symptoms, but paradoxically often to an increase in symptoms. This is because in these cases the entire being, and the mind in particular, tries repeatedly to come to terms with the experiences, in turn developing symptoms that are connected with the event and the traumatic experience.
Some people with post-traumatic stress disorder find themselves constantly agitated, becoming highly excitable or angry very quickly, and constantly feeling as if they are under attack. It appears as though a part of the person may still be stuck in the traumatic situation without the person being aware of it. If the events are not processed, they are not accessible to normal recollection and memory. Accordingly, people often do not know the reasons why they are constantly tense.