What Are The 5 Signs Of PTSD?

PTSD, also referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a type of mental health condition that may develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. The condition can cause a wide range of symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary widely from person to person. PTSD symptoms include flashbacks and nightmares about the event and avoidance of anything that reminds you of it. These signs can get worse over time if they’re not treated, so it’s important to know what they are and seek help if you think you might have them.

What is PTSD?

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a condition that can develop after someone experiences a traumatic event. A person can develop PTSD after experiencing or witnessing any event that causes intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Some examples of traumatic events include military combat, sexual assault, terrorist attacks and natural disasters like hurricanes. Furthermore, it could also include trauma related to a car accident, plane crash etc.,

People with PTSD have symptoms of reliving the trauma (also called re-experiencing), avoiding reminders of the event(s), adverse changes in beliefs and feelings (e.g., feeling permanently damaged from a particular experience) and problems sleeping well at night as they experience feelings of being haunted by their memories of what happened during those events.

The most common signs of PTSD are as follows.

Intrusive thoughts or memories: People with PTSD may have recurrent, unwanted thoughts or memories of the traumatic event. They may also have nightmares or flashbacks that make them feel like they are reliving the event.

Avoidance behaviour: People with PTSD may avoid specific activities or places, even people that may serve as a reminder of the traumatic event. They may also avoid talking about the event or thinking about it.

Hyperarousal: People with PTSD may be on high alert and easily startled. They may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating and may feel irritable or aggressive.

Experiencing negative changes in mood and cognition: People with PTSD may feel detached or emotionally numb. They may also have negative thoughts about themselves or others and feel guilty or ashamed.

Changes in physical and emotional reactions: People with PTSD may have physical reactions such as a racing heart or sweating when they are reminded of the traumatic event. They may also have emotional responses such as fear or anger.

It is helpful to remember that while a trauma can impact any of us, there are positive coping mechanisms you can learn to deal with it. Did you know that PTSD is a common condition that affects 8 percent of Canadian adults, as per the statistics in 2022? In fact, according to studies, women are more likely than men to experience PTSD, with 10% of women suffering from it compared with 6% of men.


PTSD is a chronic illness, but it can be managed. Treatment will vary depending on the individual and their needs. If you’re struggling with PTSD, you must seek help from a professional who specializes in treating the disorder. Moreover, it’s important to note that not all these symptoms are present in every person. Some may have only one or two, and others may experience many. In addition, some people recover from PTSD without any treatment at all. But if you or someone you know has been experiencing these symptoms for more than a month, and they’re interfering with daily life and functioning, it might be time to seek help from a mental health professional.

If you suspect experiencing signs of PTSD, it is crucial to seek professional help. A trained mental health professional, for instance, a trained therapist or counsellor, can diagnose PTSD and develop a treatment plan. Treatment for PTSD typically includes talk therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and may also include medication. It is essential to understand that seeking help is a brave and vital step towards healing, and recovery is possible. Take that first step, and our team at NOVA Psychology promises to be there for you!

If you’re looking for help in managing PTSD related symptoms, working with a psychologist may be helpful for you. At NOVA Psychology, we offer counselling services in Edmonton. We specialize in individual counselling for grief & loss, stress and burnout, complex/developmental trauma, parenting issues, self-esteem and body image-related issues. We also provide counselling on LGBTQ+ Issues, gender and sexuality/gender identity, life transitions and personal growth & development-related issues. Contact us to learn more about our services or to book an appointment.