Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that may develop after witnessing the death or serious injury of another person or after being seriously injured oneself.

The following is a list of symptoms that are used to diagnose PTSD in someone who has been exposed to a traumatic event:

  • Vivid re-experiencing of the traumatic event in the form of intrusive thoughts and images, nightmares, or illusions and hallucinations (commonly called flashbacks)
  • Intense emotional distress and physiological reactivity (racing heart, sweating, etc) when exposed to reminders of the traumatic event
  • Avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event (e.g., thoughts, people, places, conversations, movies, books)
  • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Decreased interest in regular activities
  • Feelings of detachment from other people
  • Limited range of emotion (unable to experience feelings of intimacy and attachment)
  • Sense that one’s lifespan will be shorter than normal
  • Increased arousal (e.g., easily startled, difficulty sleeping, irritability with outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, always on alert)

PTSD In Children

Children endorse similar symptoms as adults, with a few differences. Distinctions usually have to do with the way in which a child responds to a traumatic event. PTSD symptoms in children include:

  • Disorganized and agitated behavior
  • Memory loss of traumatic event itself
  • Incorporates themes or aspects of trauma in their playful activities/artwork
  • Nightmares

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