Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include intrusive memories, negative thoughts or mood, avoidance, and hyperarousal. Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms usually begin within three months of a traumatic event, but may not begin until years after the event, reports Mayo Clinic.
One of the primary symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder involves a trauma victim experiencing unwanted memories of the traumatic event. This may occur through flashbacks of the trauma where the individual feels as though she is reliving the event, or the individual may have recurring dreams of the trauma. Additionally, an individual with post-traumatic stress disorder often experiences emotional distress around triggers that remind her of the traumatic event. These intrusive memories produce a corollary symptom, avoidance, where the individual attempts to avoid memories of a trauma or potential triggers of those memories, states Mayo Clinic.
An individual with post-traumatic stress disorder may experience changes in outlook and mood that negatively impact her ability to maintain close relationships. She may feel emotionally numb, possess negative thoughts about herself or others, display a lack of interest in topics or hobbies that once excited her, or feel hopeless about her life in general. In severe cases, hyperarousal may result from these symptoms and she may have trouble concentrating or sleeping, become easily startled, or develop overly irritable or aggressive behavior, says Mayo Clinic.