Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Basics

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder brought on by experiencing a dangerous or terrifying event. This can include military combat, violent assaults, natural or unnatural disasters, and accidents. A person with PTSD may re-experience the traumatic event at times—through dreams or flashbacks—and feel emotionally withdrawn from people to whom he/she was once close. Other symptoms of PTSD include trouble sleeping, feeling on edge, angry outbursts, emotional numbness, detachment from activities that were once enjoyable, feelings of guilt or anxiety, and difficulty remembering the event. These symptoms can be triggered or exacerbated by certain words, places or situations that remind the person of the traumatic event.


One new RCT – Acupuncture plus usual care superior to usual care in PTSD severity, depression, pain and physical and mental functioning (Engel 2015 – RCT acupuncture plus usual care vs usual care, n = 55)(1)

Reference 1. Engel CC, Cordova EH, Benedek DM, Liu X, Gore KL, Goertz C, et al. Randomized effectiveness trial of a brief course of acupuncture for posttraumatic stress disorder. Med Care. 2014 Dec;52(12 Suppl 5): S57-64.