What are the symptoms?

No two people experience the same Symptoms of PTSD.

Reliving the ordeal through thoughts and memories of the trauma

  • Flashbacks - When you re-experience the traumatic event mentally or physically.
  • Insomnia - After a traumatic experience it is common to have difficulties sleeping due to nightmares or due to mentally going over details of the event.

  • Anxiety – Feeling constantly anxious after a trauma is very common. Sometimes these feelings turn into anxiety disorders such as PTSD or panic attacks.
  • Stress – Even if you handled stress very well before your experience, many people find stress harder to manage after a traumatic event. 
  • Anger – Feeling angry after a trauma is very common. You might be angry at the person who traumatized you, at the event itself or even at the world. This can lead to outbursts and other anger management issues.
  • Depression – Many people fall into a depression after experiencing something very distressing. You can be left wondering why the event happened to you - leading to dark moods and in severe cases, suicidal thoughts.
  • Loss of self-esteem – It can be easy to lack self-belief and self-confidence after you have experienced something traumatic. You can be left questioning your identity and what you have to offer the world.
  • Self-medication – For some, the only way they feel they can deal with what happened is by self-medicating with alcohol or drugs. This leads to very self-destructive behaviour and can isolate you from friends and family.
  • Emotional detachment – For some, the emotions brought up are so severe that they cannot deal with them at all. This can lead to emotional numbness, also known as dissociation. You may refuse to deal with any psychological issues you have and could appear cold and distant to others.

The longer your trauma symptoms go untreated, the more psychological damage they could cause. Therefore it is important to know when to seek professional help.

  • Alertness or feeling on edge:
  • Panicking when reminded of the trauma
  • Being easily upset or outbursts  of anger
  • Extreme alertness. hypervigilance
  • Physical sensations, such as pain, sweating, nausea or trembling, increased blood pressure and heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, nausea and diarrhea
  • A lack of or disturbed sleep, difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Hallucinations, and nightmares
  • Intrusive thoughts and images
  • Including feeling or showing affection
  • Intense distress at real or symbolic reminders of the trauma, such as the anniversary date of the event.
  • Using alcohol or drugs to avoid memories
  • Lack of concentration
  • Being easily startled
  • Self-destructive behaviour or recklessness.


Avoiding feelings or memories:

  • Keeping busy
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the trauma
  • Repressing memories (being unable to remember aspects of the event)
  • Feeling detached, cut off and emotionally numb
  • Being unable to express affection



You may also develop other mental health conditions, such as:

  •     Severe anxiety
  •     Phobias
  •     Dissociative disorder
  •      Suicidal feelings.


Young children with PTSD may suffer from delayed development in areas such as toilet training, motor skills, and language.

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