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At a glance: Post-traumatic stress disorder

At a glance: Post-traumatic stress disorder
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: July 8, 2012

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