Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Veterans Crisis Line

Warning Signs

  • Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma
  • Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)
  • Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event such as pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, and sweating
  • Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
  • Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)

Symptom: Avoidance & Numbing

  • Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma
  • Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
  • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Loss of interest in activities and life in general
  • Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)

Symptom: Increased Anxiety & Emotional Arousal

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Feeling jumpy and easily startled
  • Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger

Other Common Symptoms of PTSD

  • Anger and irritability
  • Depression and hopelessness
  • Feeling alienated and alone
  • Feelings of mistrust and betrayal
  • Guilt, shame, or self-blame
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings