Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a clinical condition that may develop in some people following exposure to a traumatic event. After an incident, even very major incidents, most people involved find that their stress gradually subsides. A few people may develop more serious ongoing trauma reactions that require more specific professional assistance and treatment. The natural psychological digestion process, referred to above, does not seem to work, or becomes blocked. These more prolonged reactions, which can be disabling and interfere with work and relationships, may warrant a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
These more serious ongoing problems definitely require professional assistance as they do not tend to resolve by themselves with the passage of time. Traumatic memory differs from a non-traumatic memory. Non-traumatic memories generally fade over time, losing their vividness and detail, whereas traumatic memories are resistant to normal memory decay and trauma driven psychological and physical reactions persist necessitating psychological treatment.