Post-traumatic stress disorder has been a topic at the forefront of mental health in the past couple decades. But why do we humans develop PTSD – and, in the bigger picture, why do we humans have adverse emotional responses to traumatic events? In this video, I answer those questions and also explain how PTSD could be an evolutionary adaptation.
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Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric condition people can develop following traumatic events (such as near-death experiences). PTSD encompasses a broad range of symptoms, from hypervigilance to nightmares to somatic issues.
The reason we humans develop PTSD is because we have working memory that allows us to recall past events and we also attach significance to events we encounter. Therefore, when we experience a traumatic event, our brains are inclined to remember the event in great detail and assign extreme significance to it so we change our behaviors in the future with the aim of better ensuring our survival. For this very reason, PTSD could be an evolutionary adaptation.
If you think you’re struggling with PTSD, consider speaking to a licensed mental health professional.
This video is not meant to diagnose or treat any mental illness.