Suffer a car collision, physical assault, long-term abuse, a natural disaster, living in a war zone? PTSD could be an issue. Discover 10 signs and symptoms now. According to mental health professionals, post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is a mental condition that results in a series of emotional and physical reactions in individuals who have either witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. Events that cause the individual to fear for personal life and wellbeing—such as a car collision or other accident, a physical or sexual assault, long-term abuse, torture, a natural disaster, living in a war zone, or life-altering experiences like the death of a loved one—can all spur the following PTSD symptoms.