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PTSD Symptoms

PTSD Symptoms

Many people re-experience aspects of the traumatic events through intrusive recollections, flashbacks and nightmares.

Many people re-experience aspects of the traumatic events through intrusive recollections, flashbacks and nightmares.

PTSD Symptoms

Anniversaries of the event and similarities in person, place, or circumstance can trigger symptoms. People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder experience intrusive memories or flashbacks, emotional numbness, sleep disturbances, anxiety, intense guilt, sadness, irritability, outbursts of anger, and dissociative experiences.

Many people with PTSD may try to avoid situations that remind them of the ordeal. When symptoms last more than one month, a diagnosis of PTSD may be relevant.

Symptoms related to reliving the traumatic event:

  • Having bad dreams, or distressing memories about the event
  • Behaving or feeling as if the event were actually happening all over again (known as flashbacks)
  • Dissociative reactions or loss of awareness of present surroundings
  • Experiencing intense emotions when reminded of the event
  • Having intense physical sensations when reminded of the event (heart pounds or misses a beat, sweating, difficulty breathing, feeling faint, feeling a loss of control)

Symptoms related to avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event:

  • Avoiding thoughts, conversations, or feelings about the event
  • Avoiding people, activities, or places associated with the event
  • Symptoms related to negative changes in thought or mood:
  • Having difficulty remembering an important part of the original trauma
  • Feeling numb or detached from things
  • Lack of interest in social activities
  • Inability to experience positive moods
  • Pessimism about the future

Arousal and reactivity symptoms:

  • Sleeping Difficulties including trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability and outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling easily startled
  • Excess Awareness (hypervigilance)

Other symptoms related to depersonalization (feeling like an observer to one’s body and thoughts/feelings) or derealization (experiencing unreality of surroundings) may also exist for some individuals.

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