Traumatic events can stick with people well after they end. In some cases, the memory of a life-threatening or emotionally painful incident can remain with a person for the rest of their life. The imprint on a person’s memory can cause recollections of physical and emotional reactions that the person had during the event. Certain sights, sounds or other characteristics that are similar to the major traumatic event can bring these painful memories to the forefront of a person’s mind and ignite those internal and external responses. Experiencing reactions to past traumatic events is a mental health disorder commonly known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While commonly associated to military personnel or first responders such as firefighters, police officers or emergency medical technicians, this type of mental illness can affect anyone who has undergone a major negative event in their life and knowing the causes, types and treatment options can help improve one’s mental wellness.
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