PTSD is not a mental illness but a psychological injury.
Being exposed to a traumatic situation be it a one-off dangerous event or child and developmental trauma over time can cause a distinct impact on the brain. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is an extreme form of trauma experiencing and may cause structures such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex to be ‘injured’. These brain ‘injuries’ explain some of the common symptoms of PTSD such as flashbacks; hypervigilance and the inability to regulate emotions. The image below illustrates what happens to the brain after trauma. I have a strong clinical interest in trauma and employ a variety of trauma-focused psychological interventions.