Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others' lives are in danger.
Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop PTSD. These events include:
Combat or terrorist attacks.
Violent crimes, such as rape, child abuse, or a physical attack.
Serious accidents, such as a car wreck.
Natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado, flood, or earthquake.
After going through a traumatic event, you may feel upset by things that remind you of what happened. You may have nightmares, vivid memories, or flashbacks of the event and feel like it's happening all over again. You also may avoid situations that remind you of the event, and you may feel numb or lose interest in things you used to care about.
Depression happens more often than any other medical problem in women who have PTSD, and it occurs often in men with PTSD.1
Depression can make you feel overwhelmed, sad, or hopeless. You may feel like your problems are piling up, and you can't fix them. These symptoms can last for a long time, or they might come and go. Being depressed doesn't mean you're weak, and it doesn't mean you're just feeling sorry for yourself. It is a problem that can be helped.