Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Signs and Symptoms

By Jeff Dwarshuis LMSW, ACSW

PTSD can happen to anyone at anytime at any age. Here is a list of symptoms to watch. Not all symptoms need to exist for diagnosis.

  1. Exposure to or witnessing an event that is horrific beyond what is typically endured by a person. (All PTSD cases have this symptom.)
  2. The person experiences intrusive thoughts or flashbacks of the event(s).
  3. The person has nightmares about the event(s).
  4. The person feels as if the event(s) is continuing to happen.
  5. The person has emotional overwhelm when reminded of the event(s).
  6. The person has physical reactions when reminded of the event(s).
  7. The person avoids thoughts and feelings about the event(s).
  8. The person cannot recall all of the event(s).
  9. The person withdrawals from others.

10. The person does not experience the peaks of good or bad emotions.

11. The person believes they will not live long or have a good and productive life.

12. The person has sleep disturbance, hyper vigilance and extreme anger.

Also, because of the PTSD, the person almost always has Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety.

Substance abuse is very common as a self medicating attempt. This is often the initial reason for seeking treatment.

People are fearful of treatment because they think they will have to talk about the traumas.

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