Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a psychological trauma that occurs when we experience a distressing event. We lock intense emotions that have been provoked in us into our muscles and our tissues and our blocked emotions can give rise to physical symptoms, feelings of anxiety, helplessness and anger and unwanted intrusive thoughts. When these thoughts persist over time and compromise a person’s ability to function we describe that person as having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
A relatively recent evolution in the context of PTSD is a term called “Secondary Traumatic Stress” (STS) in which people come in contact with a trauma survivor and may as a result become indirect victims of that trauma.
Like PTSD, STS reactions can persist well beyond the time of exposure to some horrific incident and can compromise an individual’s ability to function.
The Irish Courts have become more and more willing to entertain legal proceedings in which STS has been claimed and the concept is an evolving one as far as the Irish Courts are concerned.
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