Glenys O’Connell (2011) Post-traumatic Stress Disorder – The Essential Guide. Peterborough: Need2Know Books

Front cover

Front cover

Back cover

Back cover


This book was well laid out and easy to read. Each chapter has a summary of the key information and the end of the book has a list of other sources of information, inc the NICE guidelines, and resources. 

Increasingly we recognise that people who have suffered extreme and life threatening situations can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, PTSD can also develop following less extreme events, for example, serious car accidents, sexual abuse and bullying.

This book covers what PTSD is, the different forms of PTSD and the potential causes, diagnosis, PTSD in children and living with a person who has PTSD. 

Other chapters address the treatments available – here the key message is to get help, starting with your GP – and some of the language used to talk about symptoms e.g. flashbacks, numbing and hyper vigilance. Ways in which a person can help themselves are suggested as “a sense of empowerment is important in an illness that leaves a person feeling helpless”.

I was looking for a book on PTSD and this was one of the two titles in the Devon libraries’ stock. It seemed like a good place to start for an overview, published in 2011, so fairly current.

I would recommend this as an introduction to the subject for anyone who thinks they or a loved one may be struggling with PTSD or who has had a recent diagnosis and wants further information.

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