Common Signs of PTSD


There are several reoccurring symptoms, including fearful thoughts, flashbacks and bad dreams. These symptoms can become problematic in a person’s life. Some of the avoidance symptoms include difficulty remembering the traumatic event and avoiding reminders of the experience, such as places, people and objects. Hyperarousal symptoms may also arise, such as feeling tense, being startled easily and having trouble sleeping. While it is normal to experience some of these symptoms after a terrible event, symptoms lasting more than a few weeks may be signs of PTSD.

It is normal to have stress reactions after a traumatic event. Your emotions and behavior can change in ways that are upsetting to you. Even though most people have stress reactions following a trauma, they get better in time. But, you should seek help if the symptoms:

  • Last longer than three months,
  • Cause you great distress,
  • Disrupt your work or home life.

Emotional Symptoms of PTSD

The emotional symptoms of PTSD are depression, worry, intense guilt and feeling emotionally numb. Another symptom is anhedonia, which is characterized by a loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states that anhedonia plays a part in predicting psychiatric comorbidity, or the presence of more than one psychiatric disorder.

Physical Symptoms of PTSD

The NCBI has documented many physical complaints among PTSD sufferers. The physical problems reported included higher rates of neurological, respiratory, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular symptoms. Feelings of depression, guilt, tension, worry and difficulty sleeping may contribute to the physical ailments.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder causes short-term memory loss and can have long-term chronic psychological repercussions, according to the American Psychological Association (APA) and the NCBI. Fortunately, psychotherapeutic intervention and treatment can alleviate and often eliminate short-term and long-term effects of PTSD.

What should I do if I have symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event. But for some people, they may not happen until months or years after the trauma. Symptoms may come and go over many years. So, you should keep track of your symptoms and talk to someone you trust about them.

If you have symptoms that last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or disrupt your work or home life, you probably have PTSD. You should seek professional help from a doctor or counselor.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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