Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD care for adults and children

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a disorder that can develop after you experience or witness a scary, shocking, or traumatic event or series of events. Anyone can develop PTSD, and the triggers can vary greatly.

Some events that can cause a person to develop PTSD include:

  • Car accident
  • Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
  • Natural disaster or terror attack
  • Physical or sexual assault
  • Serious injury
  • Spending time in a war zone
  • Sudden death of a loved one

Not everyone who experiences events such as these will develop PTSD. Each person’s unique personality, as well as inherited factors, may put some people at higher risk for PTSD than others.

To make an appointment with a behavioral health expert call:

  • Southeast Michigan: (800) 422-1183
  • South Central Michigan: (800) 531-3728

PTSD symptoms

PTSD symptoms may appear right away or may not appear for months or years after a person experiences a traumatic event. Symptoms can vary greatly, even for the same person.

PTSD symptoms may include:

  • Avoiding places or events that are associated with the traumatic event
  • Feelings of anger, guilt, or stress
  • Flashbacks, or reliving the traumatic event
  • Lack of interest in once-enjoyable activities
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • Trouble remembering details of the event
  • Unwanted memories of the traumatic event

PTSD symptoms in young children

Most children and teens exhibit PTSD symptoms that are similar to those of adults. Young children -- those younger than 6 -- may show symptoms such as:

  • Bedwetting after having been potty-trained previously
  • Recreating the traumatic event during playtime
  • Selective mutism (not talking in certain situations or seeming to forget how to talk)

PTSD treatment for adults

Our adult patients with PTSD meet in a group setting in order to help support one another. You’ll attend eight to 16 group sessions, practicing what you learn in between sessions, with possible individual or group follow-up sessions afterward. We provide cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with PTSD. A gradual exposure to fear and anxiety can help you manage these feelings and the challenges of daily life.

Your psychiatrist also may prescribe medications to help you manage the symptoms of PTSD. These can include medications to treat depression and anxiety.

PTSD treatment for children and teens

Children and teens with PTSD receive care separate from our adult patients. Each young patient receives personalized treatment that is tailored to their specific experience and age group. Learn more about our mental health services for children and teens.

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Henry Ford Health is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email [email protected].

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