2. Avoidance symptoms:
• Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience.
• Feeling emotionally numb.
• Feeling strong guilt, depression or worry.
• Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past.
• Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.
• Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.
3. Hyperarousal symptoms:
• Being easily startled.
• Feeling tense or “on edge.”
• Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.
Sources: Steve Scruggs, clinical psychologist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; National Institute on Mental Health; The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy