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After people experience a very stressful event, they may feel that they should be able to move on and "just handle it" or "get over it." Some experiences, however, are so traumatic that people have serious problems coping and functioning in their daily lives afterward. They may have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The August 2, 2006, issue of JAMA includes articles about PTSD among adults and children affected by natural disasters. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the August 1, 2001, issue of JAMA.
Posttraumatic stress disorder is the development of characteristic and persistent symptoms along with difficulty functioning after exposure to a life-threatening experience.
Stevens LM, Lynm C, Glass RM. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. JAMA. 2006;296(5):614. doi:10.1001/jama.296.5.614
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