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Signs and symptoms of PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can affect anyone. It often follows a traumatic event, leaving a lasting impact on the individual's life.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of PTSD is crucial. It helps in early detection and treatment, improving the chances of recovery.

This article aims to shed light on the common signs and symptoms of PTSD. It also briefly touches upon the available treatment options.

Whether you're a PTSD sufferer, a loved one, or a mental health professional, this article can provide valuable insights. If you need support, please don't hesitate to reach out to our caring team in London.

Understanding PTSD

man with PTSD sitting on a couch with his face in his hands

PTSD is a mental health disorder that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event. This could include a natural disaster, witnessing the death of a loved one, a serious accident, terrorist act, war or a violent personal assault.

It's normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after such an event. But if these symptoms persist and affect one's daily life, it could be PTSD. It's important to seek help if you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms.

Common signs and symptoms of PTSD

PTSD symptoms can vary over time and from person to person. They often cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. Symptoms may include:

  • Flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive memories of the traumatic event.

  • Avoidance of reminders of the trauma.

  • Negative changes in thinking and mood.

  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions.

Re-experiencing trauma

One of the most common symptoms of PTSD is re-experiencing the traumatic event. This can occur through intrusive, distressing memories or nightmares. Some people may even have flashbacks, where they feel as if they are reliving the trauma.

Avoidance behaviours

People with PTSD often avoid places, activities, or people that remind them of the trauma. This avoidance behaviour is a way of coping with the distressing memories. It can, however, interfere with everyday life and relationships.


Hyperarousal, or feeling on edge, is another common symptom of PTSD. Individuals may be easily startled, have difficulty sleeping, or exhibit irritability and angry outbursts. These symptoms can make it difficult to carry out daily tasks.

Mood and cognitive changes

PTSD can also lead to negative changes in thinking and mood. This may include feelings of hopelessness, difficulty remembering key features of the traumatic event, or negative thoughts about oneself or the world. These changes can lead to feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.

When to seek help

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it's important to seek help. PTSD can be effectively managed with the right treatment and support.

Please don't wait for the symptoms to get worse, early intervention can improve outcomes and prevent the condition from becoming chronic.

Treatment options for PTSD

two people sad down together with their hands clasped in their laps

Treatment for PTSD typically involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication. The goal is to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and help the individual cope with the traumatic event.

  • Psychiatry: This can include an initial full assessment by a psychiatrist and mixture of therapy, one-to-one appointments or sometimes medication.

  • Psychotherapy: This can include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which helps individuals understand and change thought patterns that lead to harmful behaviours or feelings.

  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy: EMDR is an evidence-based treatment for PTSD that helps individuals process and integrate traumatic memories through guided eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation.

  • Medication: Certain antidepressants can be effective in treating PTSD, helping to control symptoms such as sadness, worry, anger, and feeling numb inside.

  • Self-care: Regular exercise, a healthy diet and adequate sleep can also help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Find support or treatment for PTSD in London

Understanding the signs and symptoms of PTSD is the first step towards seeking help. It's important to remember that you're not alone and there are resources available.

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, please reach out to us at Schoen Clinic Chelsea in London, where we will connect you with the best specialists, treatment options and support.

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