The literature define psychiatric trauma as an experience that is emotionally painful, distressful, or shocking and which may result in lasting mental and physical effects.
Psychiatric trauma is essentially a normal response to an extreme event. It involves the creation of emotional memories about the distressing event that are stored in structures deep within the brain. In general, it is believed that the more direct the exposure to the traumatic event, the higher the risk for emotional distress and harm.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a form of anxiety disorder. It can occur after seeing or experiencing a traumatic event that was catastrophic or involved the threat of injury or death.
PTSD can occur at any age. It can follow a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or events such as: