PTSD happens more commonly than people think, even after minor car accidents or srugery says Psychologist Lynne Zettl. (CBC)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is more common than people think, but diagnosing the disorder is often difficult, say psychologists participating in a two-day workshop in Moncton.

Psychologist Lynne Zettl works with the Canadian Foundation for Trauma Research and Education in British Columbia.

Zettl says although PTSD is commonly associated with war veterans and survivors of extreme events, trauma can result from something as simple as a minor car accident or even surgery.

This can make initial diagnosis difficult.

"A lot of people don't think about their symptoms as being related to trauma," said Zettl, "But it's really, it's like the resilience in their system has been compromised so they respond to everything in one particular way - with activation. So what we want to do is help them come back to better regulation so they can have that resilience."


PTSD usually associated with soldiers or survivors of tramatic events. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

PTSD symptoms can include depression, anxiety, and persistent physical ailments.

Zettl's colleague, Ed Josephs, says part of the workshop is designed to offer new skills to deal with the condition, including better diagnostic tools.

"When you look at the symptoms and you look at the manual, you can make it fit many things," said Josephs, "But you really want to rule out trauma. And again, one of the things that's misunderstood is the types of things that can cause trauma."

The workshop was so popular, organizers moved it from a hotel conference room to a movie theatre to meet demand.