What Are the 17 Symptoms of PTSD?

17 PTSD symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a severe mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing something frightening or life-threatening. While fear is part of your body’s instinctive “fight-or-flight” response, a person with PTSD is always on high alert, waiting for another crisis. You may have PTSD if you frequently feel on edge, continue reliving the traumatic event, and are stuck in a cycle of negativity, self-blame, and withdrawal from the world.

Leading Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD can be severe enough to disrupt your daily life and cause you to change your behaviors. This mental illness can vary in severity with time and affect each person differently. While only a qualified medical professional can diagnose you with PTSD, the presence of one or more of these 17 characteristic PTSD symptoms can give you a starting point for a conversation with a doctor or psychiatrist.

  1. Intrusive thoughts: Unexpected, distressing memories of the trauma that interrupt daily activities.
  2. Nightmares: Frequent, vivid dreams related to the trauma, which can disrupt sleep and exacerbate stress.
  3. Avoidance of reminders: Steering clear of people, places, activities, and situations that may remind you of the traumatic event.
  4. Memory loss: Inability to remember details of the traumatic event, often as a psychological defense mechanism.
  5. Negative thoughts and moods: Persistent, distorted beliefs about yourself or others; pervasive feelings of fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame.
  6. Feeling detached or estranged: Ongoing feelings of detachment from others, leading to isolation.
  7. Anger and irritability: Extreme irritability, angry outbursts, or aggressive behavior.
  8. Loss of interest: Decreased interest in previously enjoyable hobbies.
  9. Hypervigilance: Excessive alertness or being on constant guard against danger.
  10. Concentration problems: Difficulty maintaining focus on work, reading, or other tasks.
  11. Insomnia: Trouble falling or staying asleep, often due to anxiety or nightmares.
  12. Vivid flashbacks: Feeling as though the traumatic events are happening in the present.
  13. Avoidance: Deliberately avoiding triggers that might bring back memories of the trauma.
  14. Blame: Misdirected blame toward yourself or others for causing the trauma.
  15. Diminished positive emotions: Inability to feel happiness or satisfaction, which can appear as emotional numbness.
  16. Exaggerated startle response: An overly intense reaction to unexpected stimuli, which may include physical jolts or panic.
  17. Engagement in risky behaviors: Increased involvement in dangerous activities like gambling or taking drugs, possibly to cope with emotional pain.

Why Treatment Is Essential

PTSD is more than a reaction to stress; it is a complex condition that can deteriorate your quality of life and physical health. Without treatment, you may experience worsening symptoms, including severe depression, substance abuse, and other health complications.

At Amend Wellness, we specialize in treating PTSD with a comprehensive approach that addresses the mind and body. Allowing yourself to step away from your daily responsibilities to focus on your holistic health is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself and people who care about you.

During Mental Health Awareness Month, we reaffirm our commitment to providing effective, compassionate care to those dealing with PTSD. Here, you can find a supportive environment with people who understand the complexities of trauma and genuinely want to help you regain control and move forward in life. Reach out to us today to learn more.