top of page

Signs of PTSD

PTSD symptoms are grouped into four clusters. You may not exhibit all the symptoms, but you do need to have some symptoms in all categories to be diagnosed with PTSD.


Intrusive Memories

  • Unwanted, repeated, and distressing memories of a traumatic event

  • Repeated, disturbing dreams about the traumatic event

  • Flashbacks; suddenly feeling as if you were re-experiencing the traumatic event.

  • Feeling emotionally or physically distressed when something reminds you of a traumatic event



  • Avoiding feelings, thoughts, and memories of a traumatic event

  • Avoiding places, people, activities, situations, and/or objects that remind you of a traumatic event


Negative Changes in Thoughts and Moods

  • Difficulty remembering significant parts of a traumatic event

  • Strong negative beliefs about yourself or other people; negative changes to your worldview

  • Blaming yourself or others for the traumatic event and its aftermath

  • Experiencing negative emotions such as guilt, fear, horror, anger, and/or shame

  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed

  • Feeling detached from other people, including family, friends, and co-workers

  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions 


Arousal - Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions

  • Irritable behaviour, angry outbursts, and/or acting aggressively

  • Risky or self-destructive behaviour such as driving too fast, drinking too much, not wearing safety equipment properly

  • Hypervigilant; always watchful or on guard

  • Easily startled or frightened; feeling jumpy

  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing

  • Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep

bottom of page