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What Are the Signs of PTSD?

man sitting with head down and hands interlocked thinking about the signs of ptsd

If you or a loved one shows signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you should look into PTSD treatment. Although you may think every PTSD case doesn’t need professional help to manage, untreated PTSD can come with many problems. Someone struggling with PTSD may experience significant and harmful emotional, psychological, physical, and social issues.

Dealing with trauma without actually processing it can put someone at an increased risk for several life-threatening conditions. Therefore, if you or a loved one is still very much affected by a traumatic event from the past, you should seek professional help to learn how to reduce problematic symptoms and improve daily functioning and quality of life. If you are searching for a PTSD treatment center in Rogers, Arkansas, reach out to Alleviant Rogers today by calling 479.309.1427 or contacting our team online.

What Are the Signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The signs of PTSD may start to appear within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes it can take years after the event for these signs to appear in some people. PTSD symptoms often cause significant problems when a person’s dealing with their relationships, responsibilities, and routines.

Signs of PTSD can vary over time and from person to person. PTSD symptoms can fall into four categories:


Avoiding activities, places, or people that are reminders of the traumatic event. It can also include avoiding thinking or talking about the traumatic event.

Changes in Emotional and Physical Reactions

Emotional and physical reactions can include trouble concentrating or sleeping and being easily frightened or startled. These can also include overwhelming feelings of anger, guilt, irritability, or shame. People struggling with PTSD are also often on guard, see danger everywhere they go and engage in self-destructive or aggressive behavior.

Intrusive Memories

These intrusive memories can include dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event, recurrent but unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event, reliving the traumatic event through flashbacks, and severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that’s a reminder of the traumatic event.

Negative Changes in Mood and Thinking

These changes can include negative thoughts about the self, other people, or the world. It can also include feelings of emotional numbness, detachment, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities. It can also include difficulties in maintaining close relationships and experiencing positive emotions. Finally, a person struggling with PTSD may have memory problems, particularly when remembering important aspects of the traumatic event.

How Are the Signs of PTSD Different from the Signs of Trauma?

Everyone reacts to trauma differently. Someone struggling with trauma may experience a wide range of emotional and physical reactions, and there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to respond to trauma. It’s important to remember that any response to trauma is a normal reaction to an abnormal event.

While the symptoms of unresolved trauma may be similar to the signs of PTSD, they’re not the same mental health issue, although they’re related. Here are some signs of unresolved trauma affecting someone:

  • Anger, irritability, or mood swings
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Being easily startled
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Denial, disbelief, or shock
  • Disconnection or emotional numbness
  • Edginess or agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Guilt, shame, or self-blame
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Muscle tension
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Random aches or pains
  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Withdrawing from loved ones

Most people who go through traumatic events may experience temporary difficulty adjusting and coping with their emotional and mental trauma. However, with time and self-care practices, they usually get better at processing what happened to them.

If the unresolved trauma symptoms worsen, last for months or even years, and interfere with day-to-day functioning, it may develop into PTSD.

When Should You Consider a PTSD Treatment Program?

Many symptoms of PTSD can be targeted by trauma-focused psychotherapy. Talk therapy is the most highly recommended treatment for effective PTSD treatment programs.

“Trauma-focused” means the treatment focuses on a client’s memory of the traumatic event or its meaning. Any treatment can be trauma-focused. It’s not just a subtype of psychotherapy. However, trauma-focused psychotherapy has many techniques to help clients process their traumatic experiences. The types of trauma-focused psychotherapy that are the most evidence-based are the following:

  • Cognitive processing therapy (CPT)–Teaches a client to reframe negative thoughts about the traumatic event. It involves talking with a healthcare provider about their negative thoughts and doing short writing assignments.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)–This helps clients process and make sense of their trauma. It involves calling the traumatic event to mind while paying attention to a back-and-forth movement or sound such as a finger waving side to side, a tone, or a light.
  • Prolonged exposure (PE)–This teaches clients how to gain control by facing their negative feelings. It involves discussing their trauma with a healthcare provider and doing things they have avoided since the traumatic event.

If someone’s still experiencing negative symptoms even after the traumatic event, it’s a good idea to get an evaluation. A PTSD diagnosis must always be followed by professional treatment because the disorder’s development often points to an inability to process trauma effectively without help.

Ready to Learn More About Alleviant Rogers’s PTSD Treatment Program?

Contact Alleviant Rogers today if you’re looking for a PTSD treatment center in Rogers, AR. Reach out to our team online or call 479.309.1427.