Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Symptoms
find it hard to express your feelings. This is another way to avoid
- You may not have positive or loving feelings
toward other people and may stay away from relationships.
- You may
not be interested in activities that you enjoyed in the past.
- You may forget
about parts of the traumatic event or not be able to talk about them.
Feeling keyed up
may be alert and on the lookout for danger. This is known as increased
emotional arousal. It can cause you to:
- Suddenly become angry or
- Have a hard time sleeping.
- Have trouble
- Fear for your safety and always feel on
- Be very startled when someone surprises you.
Other symptoms also may
- Physical symptoms for no reason you can think
of (called somatic complaints).
- Feelings of shame, despair, or
- Difficulty controlling your
- Problems with family or friends.
- Impulsive or
- Changed beliefs or changed personality
One Man's Story:
"People don't understand the
emotion tied to flashbacks. It's like it's happening all over again, and you're
having the same physiological reactions."— Marvin
Read more about Marvin.
PTSD in children and teens
Children can have PTSD
too. They may have the symptoms listed above and/or symptoms that depend on how
old they are. As children get older, their symptoms are more like those of
- Young children may become upset if their
parents are not close by. Or children may have trouble sleeping or suddenly have trouble with
toilet training or going to the bathroom.
- Children who are in the first few years of elementary school
(ages 6 to 9) may act out the trauma through play, drawings, or stories. They
may complain of physical problems or become more irritable or aggressive. They
also may have fears and anxiety that don't seem to be caused by the traumatic
If you think you or a loved one has symptoms of PTSD, see your doctor right away.
Fill out this form(What is a PDF document?) and take it to your doctor. Treatment can work, and early
treatment may help reduce long-term symptoms.2