What are the 17 PTSD symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Now What are the 17 PTSD symptoms?

There are 17 symptoms of PTSD, which are divided into four main categories: re-experiencing, avoidance, negative changes in cognition and mood, and hyperarousal. In this section, we will further discuss each symptom and how they may manifest in individuals with PTSD.

What are the 17 PTSD symptoms?

PTSD  symptoms can vary in severity and may differ from person to person. Some individuals may experience all 17 symptoms, while others may only have a few. These symptoms often begin within three months of the traumatic event but can also appear years later.

Moreover, PTSD symptoms can be short-term or last for many years. With proper treatment and support, individuals with PTSD can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Re-experiencing Symptoms

Here are few Re-experiencing symptoms:


Flashbacks are one of the most common symptoms of PTSD. They occur when a person experiences vivid and distressing memories or sensations from the traumatic event that feels like it is happening again in the present moment. These flashbacks can be triggered by certain stimuli, such as sounds, smells, or even thoughts.

Bad dreams

Similarly to flashbacks, bad dreams are also a common symptom of PTSD. People with PTSD may have recurring nightmares about the traumatic event, which can disrupt their sleep and cause further distress.

Frightening thoughts

PTSD can also cause a person to have ongoing frightening thoughts related to the traumatic event, even when they are not experiencing flashbacks or nightmares. These thoughts may be intrusive and difficult to control, leading to increased anxiety and distress

Re-experiencing physical sensations

Some individuals with PTSD may also experience physical sensations that remind them of the traumatic event, such as pain, pressure, or shaking. These sensations can be triggered by certain stimuli and can contribute to the re-experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

Avoidance Symptoms

Here Avoidance Symptoms are given below:

Avoiding memories or reminders

Avoidance is another common symptom of PTSD. It involves actively avoiding anything that may remind a person of the traumatic event, including people, places, or activities. This avoidance can be detrimental as it may prevent the person from processing and healing from their trauma.

Negative thoughts about oneself or the world

People with PTSD may also experience negative changes in their thoughts and beliefs about themselves, others, or the world around them. They may have a distorted view of reality and struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, or hopelessness.

Loss of interest in activities

Due to the emotional toll of PTSD, individuals may lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. This can lead to isolation and further exacerbate symptoms such as depression.

Negative Changes in Cognition and Mood

Negative changes in cognition and mood are discussed below:

Difficulty remembering important aspects of the traumatic event

Some individuals with PTSD may have difficulty recalling specific details or entire aspects of the traumatic event. This can be due to the brain’s natural defense mechanism of suppressing memories that are too distressing.

Negative emotions

Individuals with PTSD may also experience a wide range of negative emotions, such as fear, anger, shame, and guilt. These emotions can be overwhelming and difficult to manage.

Feelings of detachment from others

PTSD can also cause a person to feel disconnected from their loved ones or society in general. This feeling of detachment can lead to social isolation and difficulty forming or maintaining relationships.

Difficulty experiencing positive emotions

Along with negative emotions, people with PTSD may also struggle to experience positive emotions such as happiness, joy, or love. This can make it challenging for them to find pleasure in activities or connections with others.

Hyperarousal Symptoms

Some Hyperarousal Symptoms are given below:

Irritability and anger outbursts

PTSD can cause individuals to have a short fuse and be easily triggered by seemingly insignificant things. They may display intense irritability or have angry outbursts that are difficult to control.


People with PTSD may also be constantly on edge and have a heightened sense of awareness. They may startle easily, have difficulty concentrating, and struggle with insomnia.

Self-destructive or reckless behavior

In some cases, individuals with PTSD may engage in self-destructive or reckless behaviors as a way to cope with their symptoms. This can include substance abuse, risky sexual behaviors, or dangerous activities.

Feeling emotionally numb

PTSD can cause individuals to feel emotionally numb and detached from their emotions. This can make it difficult for them to connect with others and show empathy.

Persistent feelings of guilt or shame

People with PTSD may struggle with intense feelings of guilt or shame related to the traumatic event, even if they were not at fault. These emotions may be accompanied by self-blame and a sense of worthlessness.

Physical symptoms without medical cause

Some individuals with PTSD may experience physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or dizziness that do not have a medical explanation. These symptoms may be a manifestation of the emotional distress caused by PTSD. 


PTSD is a complex and challenging disorder that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. Many people have question What are the 17 PTSD symptoms? It is essential to recognize the various symptoms of PTSD so that individuals can seek proper treatment and support. With the right help, it is possible for people with PTSD to manage their symptoms and improve their overall well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, do not hesitate to reach out for help.

Remember, recovery is possible, and no one has to face PTSD alone.  So, let us spread awareness about this disorder and provide support and understanding to those who are affected by it.


Frequently asked questions by people.

Does PTSD ever go away?

PTSD is a chronic condition, meaning that it can last for a long time, but with proper treatment and management, symptoms can improve. It is possible to achieve remission from PTSD, but it may never go away entirely.

How can PTSD be treated?

PTSD can be treated through psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. Specific therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) have shown to be effective in treating PTSD.

What are the four types of PTSD?

The four types of PTSD are acute, chronic, delayed-onset, and complex. Each type is characterized by the duration of symptoms and the severity of impairment they cause in a person’s life.

Leave A Comment