Symptoms of PTSD and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Symptoms of PTSD and Trauma - part 1

Avoidance behavior

Is very much related to procrastinating about giving full attention to the close (at hand), in favor of something that is less immediate. Avoidance behavior is likely to involve a certain sense of trepidation in coming face to face with “oneself”.This action may relate directly to an inner state of enigmatic perplexity, or through association.


When Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder has not been resolved, a mindset of victimization can persist even long after the event. You will see, quite often, that this role of “the victim” is played out as a well structured character in order to attract attention, and doesn’t necessarily connect with the actual crisis moment. Keep in mind, though, that at the core of this mindset, there is emotional residue at play due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Having been hurt in the past makes a person vulnerable to further hurt later on in life.

Flashbacks and Nightmares

Flashbacks are intrusive thoughts and memories that bring those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress and PTSD face to face with fraught, overwhelming feelings of fear and helplessness. In theory, this is consciousness trying to come to terms with what is alive in the system. Unfortunately, in practice, it often leads to further psychological darkness and withdrawal symptoms. Nightmares related to PTSD are flashbacks in the dream state.

Chronic Pains

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and physical pain very often go hand in hand. When stress as a result of trauma is unresolved, it settles in the body’s tissues which results in residual patterns of constriction. We have also determined this to be a trauma vortex or energy cysts. These constriction patterns can be the cause of physical discomfort in and of themselves, or take up so much energy that they  inhibit proper functioning of other systems in the body – think of the immune system, nervous system and/or digestive system. The most common chronic incidents of pain related to PTSD are in the joints, fibromyalgia and headaches/migraines.


Panic attacks go a step further than anxiety attacks do. They are often triggered by events or circumstances that are associated with past traumatic experience. This can be either on an unconscious level or consciously experienced with intrusive and overwhelming thoughts and feelings derived from past incidents. This often results in a variety of obsessive coping behaviors and/or addictions such as people avoidance, excessive (hand) washing, house cleaning, or substance abuse.

Emotional flooding

This occurs when emotion becomes too intense to be contained, or when there is a mixture of emotions emerging simultaneously. This can happen during or after the onset of trauma. Caution is advised for when this might happen during the therapeutic process, as it could easily lead to overwhelming emotional convulsions and possible retraumatization. Crying, per se, doesn’t necessarily indicate that a person is in a state of uncontrollable, overflowing emotion.


PTSD causes a breach in the normal flow of energized resilience within the nervous system. It will often lead to hyperactivation followed by a “breakdown” when exhaustion starts to set in. Lethargy can possibly be related to the state of “breakdown” of the nervous system. A person suffering from PTSD may well linger in this state in order to avoid dealing with high activation and associated feelings caused by trauma.


Post-Traumatic Stress, be it developmental or PTSD, takes up enormous amounts of energy. It is like an identity that needs to be constantly fed to keep itself alive. In time, it can become a mindset that contributes to the avoidance of the underlying emotional turmoil. No amount of sleep will remove the feeling of exhaustion as its cause is on a mental-emotional level.


Denial is clearly a coping mechanism to avoid dealing with the emotional strain of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Unfortunately, it often becomes a “conditioned response” mindset–a habit– and will be used not only when there is association with past traumatic incidents, but throughout everyday life and social interactions.

Severe Somatic Reactions

Chronic pain is already a severe somatic reaction. Looking deeply into the affects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, these can contribute to a wide variety of physical conditions including heart attack, stroke, organ dysfunction, and autoimmune diseases. It’s epidemic, if you ask me!

Dissociative Identities

Is where the dissociative behavior, as a result of trauma, takes on a life of its own. The separation becomes so marked as to give off the appearance of separate identities taking control.

Hysterical Seizures

In the context of PTSD is an extreme internal conflict that results in the overwhelming of the nervous system, and resembling an epileptic seizure. It can be equally marked by: convulsive shaking tremors and an inability to communicate with others. Shock and the processes of trauma can also include some of these symptoms, but to a qualitatively different degree.

Self-Righteous Behavior

PTSD entails a breakdown of one’s identity through feelings of overwhelming helplessness. There is a deeply felt sense of loss of boundaries and containment. To compensate for that, or in an attempt to reclaim a sense of self, there can be the acting out of self-righteous behavior.

Dive deeper into this topic by reading

The Trauma Essential Series

Did you find this blog post helpful?
Subscribe so that you never miss another one!

Yes, I agree with's terms of service and privacy policy.



  1. Julie  January 12, 2016

    This was a good read – most PTSD seems to relate to mostly people returning from war – not your everyday person who grew up in a family situation that was never supportive, affectionate, was verbally abused and physically abused.

    • Roland  January 12, 2016

      Post-Traumatic Stress is pervasive and affects many people.

    • Amanda  February 28, 2017

      I used to think the same thing. I’m the everyday person with long term childhood abuse you described. I was finally diagnosed with PTSD about 3 years ago and after reading more about the symptoms and manifestations I realized I’ve had it for almost as long as I can remember, especially flashbacks. I used to just call them “fits” and I did not understand what they were I just knew when I got them I was no longer in touch with the current reality, very upset, confused, scared, and horrified.

    • Teresa  July 20, 2017

      Julie this is not to case re PTSD. It can result from physical , verbal or any type of abuse .I know that from experience in my own life and that of others. I could give scientific explanations but that would be a great deal of typing and time consuming . I have a back ground in psychology and sadly PTSD AFFECTS veterans and many others who have endured trauma and abuse . I hope this clarifies .

  2. Kimberly  January 12, 2016

    This is a great article to share with family and friends. All of this has been almost impossible to explain to my loved ones, so they can try to have an understanding.

    • Roland  January 12, 2016

      Lets remove the stigma and misunderstanding!

  3. Bonnie  January 12, 2016

    I was diagnosed with PTSD after the sudden and tragic death of my daughter, Madeline in a car accident. I exhibited most of the behaviors described and that in and of itself was terrifying. As the months go by and with therapy, time, prayer, exercise, crying, I am noticing it is subsiding. I mostly avoided people; mostly people in the small town where I live. I told my therapist about my anxieties and she explained that most of my anxiety was about what I perceived these people would say and do. She said they are grieving too for my loss and theirs and they need to express that to you. You avoid them because you live with it all day, every day. She said when I am ready to face people and get it over, let them express themselves. She explained you can’t spend your life avoiding people and situations if I wanted to come to terms with the death of my daughter. She said it will not be easy, but sometimes the anticipation of the event is worse than the reality of it. I take baby steps to accomplish getting over this and she was right; I was well received the other day when I went to the Post Office and ran into an acquaintance, it gave me the courage to go to the library where I was well received again. In other words, they treated me like they did before the tragedy. It’s been 7 months since she died and for 7 months, I stayed for the most part in my house. It felt good to get out and test the waters. Not everyone with PTSD can do this; not everyone can face their demons. PTSD is real and it is terrifying; it is like being a prisoner in your body and mind and it is very exhausting. I wish everyone well with diagnosis and do what you need to do to resolve it.

    • Roland  January 12, 2016

      Thank you for writing here and sharing your story. Being in the presence of others mirrors your own suffering hence we tend to stay away from people when we’re in the affter effects of trauma. It is really to shield oursleves from feeling overwhelmed. It is a very brave endeavor indeed to connect again with people and to face one’s ‘demons’. I happy to hear you are moving and putting yourself to it. It is surely hard work but worthwhile.

  4. Nancy  February 2, 2017

    I have finally been diagnosed as having CPTSD after 40+ years of abuse. I am in counselling to start dealing with it and healing. With your post above it really helped me. Especially the part about chronic pain as the body’s way of dealing with the trauma. This side effect really sucks as it is my mind controlling the condition and when it goes into overdrive there is nothing I can do to stop it. Once thing that I find amazing is that whenever I have to go to the ER more than one doctor asks me why do I have CPTSD as I do not look like someone who has it. Grrrrr. I guess since I did not have a gun pointed at my head I am normal. This bothers me as there is not a certain “look” for people with this disorder. I also find a lot of people think I am just going to snap out of it very quickly.

  5. Daniel  February 28, 2017

    I was diagnosed with Chronic Post traumatic Stress Disorder due to a near fatal shotgun shooting. Defrag my left arm completely. I now walk around without humerus radius and elbow in 18 pieces. A perfectionist to total zombie of which doctors created with medication as that was the only way to deal with the amount of pain. I had to endure years injecting myself with 3-5 morphine drips daily, including 78 tablets, which took away my memory. I had to re-learn everything even how to remember my name.

  6. M  March 25, 2017

    My mother tried to take my life a few times and is a very dangerous person. I have and still am dealing with this. The panic attacks, body pain are bad but all this stress led to stage 4 cancer, which I somehow beat, so far.

  7. Patricia  March 27, 2017

    Thank you for the information very informative.

  8. Garland  June 27, 2017

    You can certainly see your expertise in the articles you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say what they believe. Always go after your heart.

  9. V.  November 10, 2017

    Keep writing. Thank you for this writing.

  10. Carol Sherrell  April 1, 2018

    I grew up in a verbally and emotionally abusive family. I then went on to marry an abusive husband. I thought this might be how a marriage is suppose to look like and knew not to tell anyone what was happening to me behind closed doors. Eighteen years later and me almost being emtionally dead, I was scared enough to call 911, and I have stayed single now for another eighteen years and still have flashbacks from my past. I also lost my speaking voice for most of my life and even my beautiful singing voice. I forged ahead in music at the piano to give me the comfort I was missing creatively. I still find it very hard to trust anyone, as it seems that there are many quite abusive/controlling people in this world and I seem to find them quite easily. For the past 15 years I have been remodeling a mobile home that I bought. I never thought I could do much of anything, but learning to do my own work on my house, has been very empowering. It truly is baby steps. I used to cry all day and curl up in the fetal position, but I have come a long way from that now.


Add a Comment