Symptoms of PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD

There are three main types of symptoms experienced in PTSD described in the table below. The symptoms can impact on daily life and make it difficult to function at work, in social or education settings and/or at home, particularly in terms of relationships with friends, family or colleagues. The types of symptoms experienced and their intensity can vary over time.

Symptom type



Intrusive memories and images from the traumatic event, experienced through:

  • Daytime memories
  • Dreams/nightmares
  • Flashback experiences


Avoidance of reminders of the trauma, such as:

  • Activities
  • Places
  • People
  • Feelings

Emotional numbing including:

  • Restricted emotions
  • Feeling detached from others, even close family/friends
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Difficulty seeing a long term future


Increased arousal resulting in:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating,
  • Hypervigilance (looking out for signs of danger)
  • Exaggerated startle response


















In addition, it is common for a person with PTSD to be experiencing other mental health conditions, including other anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse

Last Updated : 14-Oct-2013