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What are the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

There are many symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including the following: persistent re-experiencing of the event through intrusive flashbacks, distressing memories and recurring nightmares, often with physical signs of stress (racing pulse, sweating); loss of memory about the event, or parts of it; mood and cognitive problems, such as depression, negativity towards oneself or others, feelings of guilt, anger, irritability, aggression, recklessness and self-destructiveness; dissociation, such as 'shutting down' emotionally, feeling emotionally numb, becoming incapable of showing or accepting affection, not enjoying activities that were enjoyable before the event; avoidance behavior, such as avoiding places, situations, people, conversations and social situations related to the traumatic event; increased alcohol and drug consumption; poor concentration; persistent hypervigilance and tension, being constantly alert to the possibility of threat; sleep problems; being nervous and jittery, and; easily excited and over-responsive to stimuli.

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Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 13 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 802 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Loss and grief

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