Though typically associated with war veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) is a type of anxiety that can affect any person who has seen or
experienced a traumatic event, such as a
car accident or even
medical malpractice.

“People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re
no longer in danger,” says the National Institute of Mental Health.

Symptoms of PTSD

After a surgical error or other negligence, a patient may experience PTSD
symptoms, such as:

  • flashback episodes in which the event seems to be happening again;
  • nightmares;
  • strong emotional reactions to situations that are similar to the event;
  • feelings of “numbness” or detachment;
  • difficulty concentrating;
  • being startled or scared easily;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • feelings of irritability or anxiety;
  • dizziness or fainting; and
  • chronic headaches.

Currently, there are no tests or standard measures to diagnose a person
with this condition. However, someone exhibiting these emotions and behaviors
for more than 30 days can be said to be experiencing PTSD. Your doctor
and/or psychologist can help determine whether you have this disabling
disorder or whether you’re suffering from a similar condition such
as acute stress disorder.