Infoline: 08444 775 774*

Mon-Fri 9:30am - 5.30pm

Text Service: 07537 416 905

Infoline: 08444 775 774*

Mon-Fri 9:30am - 5.30pm

Text Service: 07537 416 905


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


What is it?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder which may develop following exposure to any one of a variety of traumatic events that involve actual or threatened death, or serious injury.

The event may be witnessed rather than directly experienced, and even learning about it may be sufficient if the persons involved are family members or close friends. Sufferers may experience flashbacks, panic attacks and heightened awareness. PTSD is sometimes found in ex-military personnel who have been involved in conflict situations.

DIY self diagnosis

If you can answer YES to most of the questions it is likely that you are affected by PTSD.

  • Have you ever experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, for example, rape, shooting, car accident etc.?
  • Do you frequently get upset whilst thinking about a traumatic event?
  • Do you experience “flashbacks” in which you feel as if you are re-living a traumatic event?
  • Do you feel emotionally numb or on edge due to experiencing a traumatic event?
  • Are you aware of avoiding doing things that remind you of a traumatic event?

Anxiety UK strongly advises that people seek further information and guidance from their GP who will be able to make a formal diagnosis.

PTSD Fact Sheet

How we can help

Anxiety UK is a user-led charity with more than forty years experience in supporting those living with anxiety. By becoming a member of Anxiety UK, you will have access to a range of benefits, including:

  • Access to reduced cost therapy within two weeks of submitting your therapy request
  • One year’s free subscription to Headspace (worth approx. £60), more details
  • Access to our infoline, email, text and live chat services (available Monday-Friday, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm) staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety
  • Receipt of four issues of Anxious Times, our quarterly members” magazine
  • Access to the members only section of our website, featuring regular support surgeries facilitated by anxiety experts
  • Access to specialist helplines, including the psychiatric pharmacy helpline

And many, many other benefits that will help you manage your anxiety long term. To become a member of Anxiety UK click here or ring 08444 775 774 today.

Want more information?

The Anxiety UK site has information on a range of resources to provide more detailed information and help.

Anxiety UK Publications
  • Anxiety UK publishes a fact sheet and tapes dealing with post traumatic stress disorder available from the Anxiety UK online shop
Recommended reading
overcoming traumatic stress

“Overcoming Traumatic Stress” is a self help guide based on cognitive behavioural therapy. It provides techniques on how to cope when dealing with a trauma. One reader has reviewed the book and said:

“As a sufferer of PTSD this book made me realise I was not “crazy” or “abnormal.” My body and mind were just trying to cope with the truama that had been inflicted upon it. It gives logical and rational advice to help rebuild a life following a traumatic experience, be it a car accident, being kidnapped, or raped. The step by step guides to recovery serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come towards recovery, and allow you, perhaps for the first time, to start laying the bricks to build the path to recovery. The authors are to be commended on this amazing piece of literature.”

You can order this book from the Anxiety UK online shop by clicking here.

Recommended web sites

Anxiety UK relies on donations to keep its services running. If you found this information useful please make a donation – no amount is too small.


Personal experience

Do you suffer from PTSD and want to share your experience with other people? Post your personal experience in the comments box below where it will be sent to our moderator for approval. Many people find this part of the site very useful when trying to understand their disorder so your comments really do make a difference. Please note, all comments submitted to the Anxiety UK website may be used by Anxiety UK for (but not limited to) publicity and promotional material.

If you would like to make contact with others who are living with similar experiences, you can do so via the Anxiety UK Pen-Pals scheme which is a service available to all Anxiety UK members (in both electronic and hard copy format).

I was involved in a road traffic accident involving my 11 year old daughter.

A car drove into us head on and as a result, 3 of the passengers were killed. This happened 16 months ago and I was referred by my GP to the local psychiatry dept. I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have been having cognitive therapy which I would recommend to anyone feeling like they are in a big black hole which they cannot climb out of. It is not a quick fix program but it enables you to look at the highs and lows of your life- not your existence as I used to. Only then can you come to some form of understanding of yourself. At times the sessions can be distressing but from this I have learnt how to begin to understand my thoughts, feelings, actions and beliefs and to put them into context with regards to my life.