Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person's daily life.

PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that it frequently occurs in conjunction with related disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. The disorder is also associated with impairment of the person's ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

Where to Get Help

National Center for PTSD

Women's Health Sciences Division (116B-3)
VA Boston Healthcare System
150 South Huntington Street
Boston MA 02130
fax: 617-278-4515

Vet Centers in Massachusetts

Boston Vet Center
665 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215

Brockton Vet Center
1041L Pearl St.
Brockton, MA 02301

Lowell Vet Center
10 George Street
Lowell, MA 08152

New Bedford Vet Center
468 North St.
New Bedford, MA 02740

Springfield Vet Center
1985 Main St.
Northgate Plaza
Springfield, MA 01103

Worcester Vet Center
597 Lincoln St.
Worcester, MA 01605