Signs and symptoms of PTSD include upsetting recollections of a traumatic event, avoidance of reminders of the event, emotional detachment, anxiety and irritability. Individuals with PTSD may also mentally block out aspects of the traumatic event or may experience intense negative feelings, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
The upsetting recollections about the traumatic event can manifest as memories, flashbacks and nightmares, states the ADAA. Individuals may react strongly to elements that remind them of the traumatic event. They may forget about significant details pertaining to the event, even in the absence of factors such as head injuries, drugs or alcohol.
Individuals with PTSD may also develop a pessimistic mindset or display a lack of interest in activities or social engagement, says the ADAA. They may experience ongoing feelings of unease, terror, aggravation and humiliation. They may also blame themselves or others for the traumatic event in an unreasonable manner. Moreover, individuals with PTSD may demonstrate hostile, impulsive or paranoid behavior. They can overreact easily and they may struggle to sleep or concentrate.
It is normal to have adverse reactions to a traumatic event, but if symptoms persist for at least one month, it can be a sign of PTSD. Individuals may exhibit PTSD symptoms soon after a traumatic event, but it can also take as long as years for the symptoms to appear, reports the ADAA.