Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD must include at least one of the following:
  • recurrent and intrusive memories of the event
  • recurrent, distressing dreams of the event
  • suddenly acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring
  • intense emotional or physical distress during events that remind you of some aspect of the traumatic event

The person also avoids things or places associated with the trauma or experiences a general numbing. At least three of the following symptoms are part of avoidance or numbing:

  • trying to avoid thoughts or feelings about the trauma
  • trying to avoid things or places that bring out memories of the trauma
  • inability to remember an important part of the trauma
  • loss of interest or participation in usual activities
  • feeling detached or apart from others
  • restricted range of feelings
  • a sense of a shortened future

Finally, there must be persistent symptoms of increased arousal, such as trouble falling asleep or staying asleep; irritability or outbursts of anger; trouble concentrating; hypervigilance; or being easily startled.