Psychological reaction occurring after a highly stressful event and typically characterized by flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of the event; depression and anxiety are often present. Traumatic events that can lead to PTSD include automobile accidents, rape or assault, military combat, torture, and such natural disasters as floods, fires, or earthquakes. Long-term effects can include marital and family problems, difficulties at work, and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Antidepressant medication and psychotherapy, including group therapy, are used in treating the disorder.
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