ADAA president Dr. Luana Marques, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a clinical psychologist explains that post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological disorder that occurs after one experiences a traumatic event like a severe car accident, combat stress, or any other threat to life. Marques says it is normal to feel stressed and depressed under those circumstances. “After a traumatic event, biologically, we’re actually wired to have a stress response,” Marques tells Yahoo Life. “That stress eventually may lead to symptoms like difficulty sleeping, nightmares, difficulty concentrating [and] being on guard all the time.” Marques says that when we put all of those symptoms together it could look like a case of PTSD but she warns not to jump to conclusions.
“It's really important to remember that immediately after traumatic events, no matter how difficult it is, one can not have the diagnosis of PTSD,” she says. “Only about three months after is when we start to talk about, is that person developing the symptoms of PTSD?”