University of HoustonDepartment of Psychology
University of Houston


Mary Miss, Untitled, 1997, welded aluminum and wire mesh, University of Houston Percent for Art Collection.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing a very traumatic or life-threatening event such as but not limited to:

            • Combat
            • Sexual assault or rape
            • Physical attack
            • Motor vehicle accident
            • Robbery
            • Injury
            • Natural or man-made disaster

PTSD can involve (1) actual experiencing thetraumatic event, (2) witnessing a traumatic event involving another person, or (3) learning of a traumatic event of a family member or close associate.

Individuals who develop post-traumatic stress disorder have symptoms including persistent re-experiencing of the event through memories or nightmares, avoidance of places or situations that remind them of the trauma, and general increased arousal like sleeplessness, uncharacteristic irritability or difficulty concentrating. Individuals with PTSD may also find themselves withdrawing physically and emotionally from others around them. These symptoms can be extremely frightening and disabling in the individual’s work and social life. PTSD is a surprisingly common disorder affecting approximately 8% of the adult population in the United States.


Post-traumatic stress disorder can be very successfully treated through cognitive behavioral therapy or medication; however therapy has been slightly more successful with long-term effects. If you feel that you might have post-traumatic stress disorder or any other problem with anxiety, and you want help dealing with these difficulties, please contact the Anxiety Disorder Clinic at 713-743-8609 to schedule an assessment.












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