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Symptoms of
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that can occur following the direct experience or witnessing of a life-threatening event such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, serious accidents or violent personal assaults.

PTSD is often complicated by other physical and mental health problems including depression and substance misuse. Difficulties functioning at work and in family and social life are also commonly experienced.

Symptoms of PTSD

A person with PTSD will experience some of these symptoms:

Re-experiencing: how a trauma memory comes back 

For example: bad dreams, nightmares or night terrors, intrusive memories of the event, flashbacks, getting emotionally upset when reminded of the trauma.

Avoidance: ways of avoiding things related to trauma

For example: avoiding trauma related thoughts and feelings, places, people and activities which reminds them of trauma; lost interest in things you used to enjoy doing; feeling detached and cut off from others; feeling emotionally numb.

Hyperarousal: changes in bodily symptoms

For example: having trouble falling or staying asleep; experiencing more Irritability and anger; having difficulty concentrating and focusing on tasks; feeling constantly on edge and looking for threat.

Changes in mood: feeling low and thinking negatively

For example: having negative beliefs about yourself, the world and others; experiencing negative emotions such as guilt and shame.

Our free 24/7 Helpline is available on 0800 138 1619.

Find out more about PTSD here.

Paul's story: 'Combat Stress is alive and vibrant... life starts again here'