PTSD and flashbacks

If you think you might have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or you're struggling with your memories, we can help you cope.

What is ptSD?

PTSD is a mental health condition that can affect someone after they've had a very frightening experience and felt their life was in danger.

Whether you get PTSD has nothing to do with being weak or strong. Someone with PTSD might:

  • have nightmares or flashbacks about what happened
  • spend lots of time thinking about or remembering what's happened
  • try to avoid places that remind them of what's happened
  • feel anxious or start to have other mental health issues
  • struggle to concentrate or get to sleep at night
  • feel unable to cope.

Not everyone who has a frightening experience will develop PTSD. But if you're worried about your mental health, it's important to get help. Find out more about the symptoms of PTSD.

Visiting the doctor

It can be scary talking about what's happening, but your doctor is there to help. Only a doctor can diagnose you if you think you have PTSD.

If you want to visit your doctor, it can help to plan what you want to say or make a list of your symptoms using DocReady.

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Whatever your worry, you can talk to us

Dealing with flashbacks or memories

Coping if you feel unsafe

If your thoughts or memories are making you feel unsafe, there are things you can do:

  • Make a safety plan
    This could include things you can do to calm down, a list of who to talk to and what to do in an emergency.
  • Talk to someone you trust, like your parents or carers
    Other people can help you feel connected to what's happening now and not the flashback, and they can stop you feeling like you're alone.
  • Find out more about what happened
    Understanding more about what happened and how you can stay safe in the future can help you to feel more in control.
  • Talk to Childline
    Childline counsellors are here to listen to you and support you no matter what's happening.

Remember that in an emergency you can always call 999.