Most people bounce back from traumatic events such as car crashes or assaults. Short-term, most of us would experience some of these symptoms of PTSD. But if any symptoms last more than a month and affect job performance or the ability to function in day-to-day life, consult a licensed mental health professional.
Similar symptoms that begin immediately after a traumatic event and last more than two days might be considered acute stress disorder — a condition similar to PTSD. When symptoms start weeks, months, or years after the experience and last longer than a month, it becomes PTSD.
Some World War II veterans developed PTSD 50 years after the war and only after they retired. These children of the Depression didn’t talk about their war experiences. They came home, went to work, and built families. It wasn’t until their retirement, when they were no longer responsible for keeping it together for their families, that flashbacks from combat began.
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