Symptoms of PTSD are usually categorised into three groups:
Re-experiencing symptoms or reliving the traumatic event
Intrusive, upsetting thoughts and memories.
Flashbacks or reliving the event.
Nightmares of the traumatic event or other frightening things.
Intense distress brought about by reminders of the traumatic event.
Strong physical reactions to reminders of the trauma such as nausea, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, muscle tension or sweating.
Avoidance of events that trigger memories of the trauma
Avoidance of places, activities, feelings or thoughts that remind you of the traumatic event, such as large crowds or frightening movies.
Forgetting certain aspects of the traumatic event.
Loss of enjoyment in certain activities and loss of interest in life in general.
Feelings of emotional numbness or detachment.
A feeling that the future is hopeless or that life may be short.
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Feelings of anger, resentment or hostility.
Lack of attention or concentration.
Feelings of being constantly aware and on alert (hypervigilance).
Feeling jumpy or jittery.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a highly challenging and complex mental health condition which can severely impact a person’s relationships, state of mind, physical health and general quality of life. For people struggling with PTSD, it can feel like they will never get their happiness back, but treatment is available and recovery is possible.