We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Signs of PTSD Trauma?

By Jillian O Keeffe
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

When a person experiences a very traumatic event, such as during military service or during accidents like a plane crash, he or she may experience significant psychological distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that affects the emotions and security of that person and is detrimental to the way that person interacts with the world. Signs of PTSD trauma include flashbacks to the event, emotional detachment and an inability to relax.

Not all of the symptoms need to be present for a person to have a diagnosis of PTSD trauma. In addition, not all people who go through extreme trauma develop PTSD. Commonly, though, the signs of the condition show themselves in changes in emotional state, sleep patterns or a withdrawal from normal social interactions.

Emotional changes that a person suffering from PTSD trauma may experience include a lessening of emotional intensity, which may be a survival strategy to avoid having to feel strongly either way. The person may also become less interactive with other people, and avoid normal social situations. As well as feeling flat, or depressed, the person may also be abnormally alert, if the patient is unable to put the fear of the trauma behind him or her.

Flashbacks to the traumatic event are a characteristic feature of PTSD. These involve a vivid remembrance of the occurrence which may be triggered by certain items or places associated with the event. The affected person may also deliberately avoid these triggers, such as driving in a car, or looking at a person who was involved. Stressful memories can also play a role in the person's dreams, which can result in insomnia or tiredness during the day.

If a person who has experienced a very stressful event begins to use drugs or alcohol more, this can also be a sign of PTSD trauma. In addition to the mental and psychological symptoms, the condition can also produce physical symptoms. These include shaking, headaches and a pain in the stomach. Kids are especially likely to display physical symptoms, and they also tend to make reenactments of the event when suffering from PTSD.

Professional psychiatric assessment is usually necessary to diagnose PTSD trauma, and a person may have to go through several screening stages in order to receive the correct diagnosis. The first screen may be a simple questionnaire, which may then be followed by an interview by a professional if necessary. PTSD is treatable with psychological therapy sessions or medication, and the passage of time may also help reduce symptoms.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.