Signs of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Signs of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

The signs of post traumatic stress syndrome usually appear within three months after a traumatic event. However, in rare cases, the symptoms may show up years after the incident. The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can help you determine whether you or a loved one needs treatment for this condition.

Reliving the Event

Among the most disturbing signs of post traumatic stress disorder are flashbacks, which can occur anytime. The affected person relives the traumatic event in episodes that can last a few minutes, hours or days at a time.


A person with PTSD may experience disturbing dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event.


The tendency to avoid talking about the traumatic incident is a sign that the person is unable to deal with its psychological impact.

Depressed States

A person with PTSD may not find joy in doing things that once brought enjoyment. General feelings of hopelessness can be present, which can zap energy and enthusiasm.

Increased Emotional Arousal

PTSD may manifest in excessive anxiety. The individual may be easily startled, and may be extremely irritable. Problems with anger management may also be present.

Guilt and Shame

Guilt and shame can be overwhelming for a person who has experienced a traumatic event.


While many associate post-traumatic stress disorder with overwhelming emotions, the syndrome often includes feeling emotionally numb. A person with this disorder may have great difficulty maintaining close relationships with others.

Memory and Concentration

A person with PTSD may experience difficulty concentrating, and may have memory problems.

Sleep and Hallucinations

People with PTSD often have difficulty sleeping, and some may have sleep disorders. Signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome include hearing things that aren't really there.

Self Destructive Behaviors

Guilt, shame, and feelings of hopelessness can translate into self-destructive behaviors. Heavy drinking, overeating and smoking are examples of self-destructive tendencies.

When to See a Doctor

Some of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are perfectly normal after a person experiences a traumatic event. However, if the symptoms persist for more than a month, it is necessary to talk to a doctor. If the symptoms of PTSD are severe, and you feel as if you can't get your life in control, a professional can help.

See Physical Signs of Stress to determine if stress may be triggering health problems.

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Signs of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome