PTSD Self-Test

Online PTSD Self-Test

Table of Contents

What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often linked to images of military personnel amid war and combat. However, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder goes much further than battle and the difficulties of war. Take, for example, a story from P.K. Philips. Several traumas, including a childhood of physical, mental, sexual abuse and ultimately an attack at knifepoint, lead Philips to significant experiences of flashbacks and nightmares. Unable to sleep, Philips became nervous and anxious at home. Once symptoms subsided, years went by until another traumatic event brought back the panic and anxiousness. Philips sought help and was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.1

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Traumatic events can include natural disasters, serious accidents, physical, mental and sexual abuses, war, and combat.2 More than half of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives, and 20% go on to develop PTSD. Traumatic events make people feel threatened, anxious, or frightened. About 8 million people have post-traumatic stress disorder at any given time. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD. 10% of women develop PTSD in their lifetimes, compared to 4% of men.3

of Adults in the United States Develop PTSD
of Women
Develop PTSD
of Men Develop PTSD

Video: What is PTSD?

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​​Many of us will experience some kind of trauma during our lifetime. Sometimes, we escape with no long-term effects. But for millions of us, those experiences linger, causing symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, and negative thoughts that interfere with everyday life. This phenomenon, called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, isn’t a personal failing; 00:30 rather, it’s a treatable malfunction of certain biological mechanisms that allow us to cope with dangerous experiences. To understand PTSD, we first need to understand how the brain processes a wide range of ordeals, including the death of a loved one, domestic violence, injury or illness, abuse, rape, war, car accidents, and natural disasters. These events can bring on feelings of danger and helplessness, which activate the brain’s alarm system, 01:01 known as the “fight-flight-freeze” response. When this alarm sounds, the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal systems, known as the HPA axis, work together to send signals to the parasympathetic nervous system. 01:16 That’s the network that communicates with adrenal glands and internal organs to help regulate functions like heart rate, digestion, and respiration. These signals start a chemical cascade that floods the body with several different stress hormones, 01:30 causing physiological changes that prepare the body to defend itself. Our heart rate speeds up, breathing quickens, and muscles tense. Even after a crisis is over, escalated levels of stress hormones may last for days, contributing to jittery feelings, nightmares, and other symptoms. For most people, these experiences disappear within a few days to two weeks 01:53 as their hormone levels stabilize. 01:55 But a small percentage of those who experience trauma 01:58 have persistent problems 02:00 —sometimes vanishing temporarily only to resurface months later. 02:04 We don’t completely understand what’s happening in the brain, 02:07 but one theory is that the stress hormone cortisol 02:10 may be continuously activating the “fight-flight-freeze” response 02:14 while reducing overall brain functioning, leading to a number of negative symptoms. 02:19 These symptoms often fall into four categories: 02:22 intrusive thoughts, like dreams and flashbacks, 02:25 avoiding reminders of the trauma, 02:27 negative thoughts and feelings, like fear, anger, and guilt, 02:31 and “reactive” symptoms like irritability and difficulty sleeping. 02:36 Not everyone has all these symptoms, 02:38 or experiences them to the same extent and intensity. 02:41 When problems last more than a month, PTSD is often diagnosed. 02:46 Genetics, 02:47 on-going overwhelming stress, 02:49 and many risk factors like preexisting mental illnesses 02:53 or lack of emotional support, 02:54 likely play a role in determining who will experience PTSD. 02:59 But the underlying cause is still a medical mystery. 03:04 A major challenge of coping with PTSD is sensitivity to triggers, 03:09 physical and emotional stimuli 03:11 that the brain associates with the original trauma. 03:14 These can be everyday sensations that aren’t inherently dangerous 03:18 but prompt powerful physical and emotional reactions. 03:21 For example, the smell of a campfire 03:24 could evoke the memory of being trapped in a burning house. 03:28 For someone with PTSD, 03:30 that memory activates the same neurochemical cascade 03:33 as the original event. 03:35 That then stirs up the same feelings of panic and helplessness 03:39 as if they’re experiencing the trauma all over again. 03:43 Trying to avoid these triggers, which are sometimes unpredictable, 03:47 can lead to isolation. 03:49 That can leave people feeling invalidated, 03:51 ignored, 03:52 or misunderstood, 03:53 like a pause button has been pushed on their lives 03:56 while the rest of the world continues around them. 03:59 But, there are options. 04:01 If you think you might be suffering from PTSD, 04:04 the first step is an evaluation with a mental health professional 04:07 who can direct you towards the many resources available. 04:11 Psychotherapy can be very effective for PTSD, 04:14 helping patients better understand their triggers. 04:17 And certain medications can make symptoms more manageable, 04:20 as can self- care practices, like mindfulness and regular exercise. 04:25 What if you notice signs of PTSD in a friend or family member? 04:29 Social support, acceptance, and empathy are key to helping and recovery. 04:33 Let them know you believe their account of what they’re experiencing, 04:37 and that you don’t blame them for their reactions. 04:39 If they’re open to it, 04:40 encourage them to seek evaluation and treatment. 04:43 PTSD has been called “the hidden wound” 04:46 because it comes without outward physical signs. 04:49 But even if it’s an invisible disorder, it doesn’t have to be a silent one.

Populations at High Risk of PTSD

PTSD can develop at any age and to any gender.4 Here are some of the populations at the highest risk of PTSD.

PTSD in Women

While the lifetime prevalence of exposure to traumas was lower among women, women are subjected to specific traumas with a higher risk of PTSD like rape, sexual assault, and childhood sexual abuse. The instances of these types of trauma are high because 91% of rape and sexual assault victims are women, and 20% of women experience rape at some point in their lives compared to 1.4% of men.5

of Rape and Sexual Assault Victims are Women
of Women Experience Rape at Some Point in Their Lives
of Men Experience
Rape in Their Lifetime

At some point in their lives, 1 in 10 women will experience PTSD.6 Women may experience PTSD symptoms differently than men. The most common symptoms in women are:7

  • Easily startled
  • Feeling numb
  • Avoidance behavior
  • Depression and anxiety


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) youth commonly experience trauma at higher rates than their cisgender heterosexual peers. All these experiences contribute to higher PTSD rates in the LGBTQ+ community.8  These experiences can include:


55% of LGBTQ+ students report experiencing bullying. 24% of LGBTQ+ students experience online bullying. 9% of LGBTQ+ students received death threats.​​​9 ​​​This bullying contributes to higher than average rates of drug use and dramatically increases the risk of suicide.10

55% of LGBTQ+ Students Experience Bullying
24% of LGBTQ+ Students Experience Online Bullying
9% of LGBTQ+ Students Received Death Threats


Roughly 75% of LGBTQ+ students report being harassed at school.11  The Trump administration removed protections from LGBTQ+ students which resulted in higher rates of harassment.​​​12

75% of LGBTQ+ Students Report Harassment at School

Physical and Sexual Abuse

35% of LGBTQ+ students suffer physical assault and 12% suffer sexual violence.11 LGBTQ+ youth lack safe arenas to discuss sexual orientation, putting them at increased risk for sexual exploitation and abuse.

35% of LGBTQ+ Students Suffer Physical Assault
12% of LGBTQ+ Students Suffer Sexual Violence

Traumatic Loss of Family and Friends

40% of LGBTQ+ youth report rejection by family or friends.13 Levels of acceptance from family and friends impact healthy identity development in LGBTQ+ youth. Less parental rejection creates a greater likelihood of having an affirmed sexual identity. Conversely, more parental rejection is linked to poor mental and physical health outcomes.14

40% of LGBTQ+ Youth Report Rejection by Family or Friends

Societal Stigma, Bias, and Rejection

LGBTQ+ youth suffer trauma through institutional discrimination in different settings like workplaces and places of worship. The LGBTQ+ unemployment rate is double that of the general population.11

PTSD in Children

Children have adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that lead to PTSD. Children experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder typically experience three types of symptoms. Children will re-experience the trauma through flashbacks, nightmares, or through play by reenacting the event. Children will avoid anything related to the traumatic event, whether it’s an object, thought, or place. The child will likely show signs of increased agitation, being on guard or on edge, and show extreme caution if another dangerous situation comes up. This agitation can come out in disruptive behavior or fear of separation from a caregiver. Typical childhood traumas that can result in PTSD symptoms include:

  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Experiencing physical, sexual, or emotional abuses
  • Having a severe injury or accident
  • Witnessing violence in school or the community
  • Global Pandemics
  • Civil Unrest

PTSD in Adults Who Experienced an Adverse Childhood Experience

Adverse childhood experiences are associated with numerous risk behaviors and mental health outcomes. One study found that ACEs led to higher rates of adult PTSD. Adults who suffered an adverse childhood experience are at a much higher rate of intimate partner violence. ACEs could lead an adult to assault an intimate partner. ACEs could also increase the chances of being a victim of intimate partner violence. Adverse childhood experiences cause PTSD, but they also create a vicious circle where ACEs cause intimate partner violence that leads to more PTSD.​​​12

Current Factors that Increase the Risk of PTSD

Experiencing Trauma

Sexual assault frequently occurs in the United States, with one-third of women experiencing sexual assault at some point in their lives. Survivors of childhood sexual assault have an increased likelihood of being assaulted again in adulthood. Living through these experiences increases the risk of developing PTSD and other mental health conditions. National estimates in the United States indicate that 20 people are being abused by an intimate partner every minute. The data adds up to about 10 million people per year.

Having Little Or No Social Support

Social support is vital in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. It can potentially be an essential piece in understanding the condition, including prevention and treatment.7 Research consistently shows that limited social support is associated with more severe forms of PTSD symptoms, including more severe impairment and thoughts of suicide. Emotional support is positively associated with better responses to PTSD treatment.


People with PTSD may prefer to self-isolate to protect themselves from PTSD triggers and other stressful events. But, the self-isolation worsens their mental health, leading to an increase in PTSD symptoms. People with PTSD need to stay connected to their support network of friends, family, and professionals to reduce PTSD symptoms.

On PTSD and Introverts

PTSD symptoms can seem like an individual is introverted due to avoidance symptoms, but that doesn’t necessarily explain the full story. While psychiatrists speak of four main signs that define PTSD, avoidance being one of them, this doesn’t necessarily mean an introvert is experiencing PTSD symptoms. The critical thing to note is the difference between how they feel about being alone. Isolation can increase flashbacks, which are described as frequent, undesired memories that replay the triggering event, making it challenging to take pleasure in things once enjoyed before. Someone experiencing PTSD may become more passive and appear distant and withdrawn.

Extra Stressful Events

There are extra stressful events in life that can lead to symptoms of PTSD. Take, for example, the death of a loved one. Humans are very social creatures and build countless relationships throughout their lives. Family members, coworkers, and neighbors are examples of relationships that can produce deep connections. It makes sense that a loved one’s death can create psychological issues, including PTSD, especially if the death is unexpected. A recent study published that an unexpected death elevated odds of PTSD, panic disorder, and depressive episodes at all stages of life.

Loss of Employment

Other examples of stressful events can be the loss of a job. Many people tie their identities to their jobs and experience extreme stress if that identity is taken away. Also, many believe self-worth is linked to the work they perform. These people may feel worthless if they can no longer work. Losing employment also comes with financial stresses, which can then trigger relationship issues. So, it is not unusual for those who lose their job to experience symptoms of PTSD.

Video: Five Types of PTSD

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​​Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an Anxiety Disorder that occurs after the individual has experienced a traumatic event in their lives depending on the severity of the event, the trauma can range from mild to intense. I have recently had personal experiences with mild-PTSD due to complicated family dynamics I'm still in this process of healing, but on this journey of moving forward, I want to spread awareness and explore the different types of PTSD with all of you. whether you're still battling PTSD after many years, 00:31 or have a fresh emotional wound. know that everything you've endured up to this point, is still worth fighting. After this video, please be sure to also check out our video on How to cope with it. Here are 5 types of PTSD 1. Normal Stress Response The normal stress response occurs when adults experience one distinct event that disrupts their entire life. When they go through this type Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Many have a hard time locating their emotions 01:01 and feel cut off from reality. making it hard for them to maintain and form relationships with others. According to Psych Central, this is the mild type of PTSD and people who experience it can usually recover within a few weeks When I first moved out of my parents' house I experienced, Normal Stress Response. I had to escape a toxic situation that left me feeling emotionally scarred. I couldn't even look at my boxes and belongings without having a breakdown, the first couple of weeks. 01:30 It took me a while, until I felt ready to unpack everything into my new house. One helpful method you can use to cope is by joining a support group. When you attend group meetings, you will meet others who have also experienced traumatic events, and explore ways to provide solutions and closure in order to heal and move on. 2. Comorbid PTSD According to Psych Central When someone has comorbid PTSD, they're also commonly diagnosed with another psychiatric disorder 02:00 such as 02:01 depression, alcohol or substance abuse, 02:04 panic disorder or other anxiety disorders. 02:07 Doctor Peter Tuerk, an associate Professor 02:10 of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 02:12 at the Medical University of South Carolina states 02:15 "PTSD has always overlapped with depression 02:18 and vice versa" 02:19 This is why war veterans often experience 02:22 comorbid PTSD when they're fighting off 02:24 more than just trauma. 02:26 it's a hellish nightmare ingrained in both 02:27 their bodies and brains. 02:29 when they may resort to unhealthy sources 02:31 such as drugs and alcohol 02:32 to try to forget the frightening exposures 02:34 they've seen and experienced, 02:36 they may also deal with guilt 02:38 knowing that they've hurt someone in combat 02:40 which can influence them to go into self-destruction mode 02:43 believing they deserve the pain they inflict upon themselves 02:45 it's important to know that when treating this type of 02:49 PTSD it's most effective when it's treated with the other psychiatric disorder together 02:54 02:54 rather than in a linear before and after fashion. 02:58 3. Acute Stress Disorder 03:01 when someone has this type of PTSD 03:03 they may forget things unnaturally and frequently 03:06 which can disrupt their everyday activities 03:08 including work, sleep, and hygiene habits. 03:11 this type of PTSD is the least common out of all the five types 03:15 this disorder may be triggered when someone experiences a heavy burden suddenly 03:19 such as losing a close loved one too soon 03:22 or experiencing a natural disaster 03:24 where they lose their home to a hurricane, earthquake or a tornado 03:28 when seeking treatment for acute stress disorder 03:30 one option includes removing yourself from the event that's triggering it 03:34 for example, if someone just lost their home 03:36 its best-advised for them to seek shelter 03:39 and move away from their damaged neighborhood 03:41 03:41 other common treatment options include 03:44 taking medication prescribed by a health professional 03:47 and talking to a psychologist 03:48 If you're scared about seeking help from a professional, 03:51 we provide some helpful insights from our video here. 03:54 Please be sure to check it out later. 03:56 4. Uncomplicated PTSD 03:59 Uncomplicated PTSD is actually more complicated 04:02 than it sounds. This type of PTSD 04:05 causes the individual to experience their traumatic event 04:08 over and over again, which may discourage 04:11 them to come into contact with similar 04:13 situations associated with it 04:16 For instance, rape victims may experience this 04:18 type of PTSD when they avoid people of the opposite 04:21 sex, or avoid relationship building 04:24 and intimate acts all together. When seeking treatment 04:27 for Uncomplicated PTSD, 04:30 the individual should look into talk therapy with a psychologist, 04:32 and take the proper medication prescribed to them. 04:35 5. Complex PTSD 04:38 Complex PTSD, otherwise known as Disorder of Extreme Stress, 04:41 occurs in 04:43 individuals who have experienced traumatic events for an 04:46 extended period of time. Examples of this 04:49 include childhood abuse, whether it's verbal, physical, 04:52 and/or sexual. 04:54 Similar to Comorbid PTSD, individuals with 04:56 this type of PTSD also suffer from another 04:59 psychiatric disorder. But, according to 05:02 Psych Central, these individuals are frequently 05:05 diagnosed with borderline antisocial personality disorder, 05:09 or dissociative disorders 05:11 Unfortunately, people with Complex PTSD 05:14 take much longer to heal, and require help from 05:17 specialists. If treatment is not sought, 05:20 People with this 05:21 type of PTSD can run into various problems 05:24 such as eating disorders, drug abuse, and 05:27 self-destructive behavior. Are you struggling 05:29 with PTSD? Please share your stories with us below. 05:32 We want you to know that you're not alone 05:34 and remind you that you're stronger than you think you are. 05:37 Please be sure to subscribe to our channel for more helpful tips 05:41 and share this video for a free E-copy of our magazine 05:44 on substance abuse awareness 05:46 use the code: psipower 05:48 With your help, we can reach more people to spread awareness 05:51 on mental health issues. Thanks for your support, 05:54 really and truly. We wouldn't have gotten this far without 05:57 each and every one of you. This video was inspired by 06:00 one of our community members who is a brave survivor of 06:03 PTSD.

Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Increases Risk of PTSD

Mental Illness and PTSD

Traumatic life events are common among people living with severe mental illnesses. There has been growing awareness in recent years about trauma and how it shapes people’s lives. PTSD plays a crucial role in the adverse effects on mental illnesses and can exacerbate these mental illnesses. While the evidence shows that PTSD can make schizophrenia worse, other evidence suggests it can also impact other diseases like bipolar disorder and depression. With high rates of trauma across these disorders, it is essential to realize PTSD’s impact on these illnesses.

Substance Abuse

Individuals diagnosed with PTSD are three times more likely to have struggled with substance use disorder.8 Substance abuse and addiction are linked to disorders like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. PTSD can trigger addiction, or addiction can lead to PTSD. Whichever came first, the statistics show that people seeking treatment for PTSD are 14 more times likely to be diagnosed with a SUD.

Accidents & Natural Disasters are PTSD Risk Factors

Accidents and natural disasters are events that can lead to struggles with symptoms of PTSD. Individuals who experience an event like a severe motor vehicle accident have an increased risk for developing PTSD, among other psychological issues.9 For example, take this story of a woman sharing her experiences with PTSD from a significant car accident. Cathy had been sitting at a traffic light when her car was hit from behind, and she vaulted forward. Cathy was worried about her daughter in the backseat of the vehicle. Although a reasonably typical wreck, Cathy experienced terrible dreams about the collision and had a hard time driving following the accident. Her story is a familiar one, with over 6.2 million traffic accidents reported each year, resulting in approximately 2.8 million injuries.10 Symptoms following a severe car accident can include re-experiencing the trauma or avoiding situations related to the accident and detachment from others. While the symptoms can vary, these accidents can create PTSD symptoms.

Climate Change Increases the Risk of PTSD from Natural Disasters

Natural disasters have become more frequent in recent years. Climate change creates more severe hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. Research is showing a clear connection between experiencing a natural disaster and PTSD. PTSD symptoms seem to be highest when a natural disaster is related to the death of someone close, forced displacement from their homes, and pre-existing vulnerabilities from other traumas that give individuals the highest risk.11

Veterans and PTSD

Veteran rates of PTSD continue to increase with the United States military continuing to have a presence in the Middle East. In 2016, a dramatic increase was seen in the number of war veterans seeking help for PTSD. Treatment options continue to be a discussion to care for these Veterans. PTSD extends beyond war and combat, but this population is at higher risk for suffering from PTSD symptoms.

PTSD Rates by Theater of Conflict

Veterans with PTSD vary by the era of service. In the Vietnam War era, about 15 out of every 100 Veterans were diagnosed with PTSD. In the Gulf War-era, about 12 of every 100 Veterans were diagnosed with PTSD. During Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, about 11 to 20 of every 100 Veterans were diagnosed with PTSD.12

PTSD Risk Factors from Military Service

PTSD symptoms usually begin after a traumatic event, but they can appear much later than the actual event. Causes of PTSD in Veterans can vary. In research published in Clinical Psychological Science, researchers defined three areas of concern in the development of PTSD; severity of combat exposure (life-threatening experiences), pre-war vulnerabilities (childhood physical abuse), and involvement in harming civilians or prisoners.13

PTSD isn’t military-specific, but the problem is focused on war Veterans. These Veterans are at higher risk of suffering PTSD and face barriers in getting treatment, including stigma and discharge from the military.

Is PTSD a Disability?

PTSD can be considered a disability; cases are approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA) if the circumstances meet the established criteria. However, getting disability from the SSA can be a long and frustrating process, with the majority of applicants waiting almost two years for the benefits to start.14

Veterans may be eligible for disability benefits through VA Compensation if they meet requirements like:

Another type of aide for Veterans is service dogs. Veterans sometimes have specially trained service animals that help them perform tasks or give reminders to take medications. They can even calm a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack. Service animals are working animals and not pets. Some service members are eligible for these types of benefits through the VA.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD can start within a month of a traumatic event, or sometimes symptoms appear years after the event. Signs and symptoms of PTSD are commonly grouped into four areas: re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, arousal, and reactivity symptoms, and cognition and mood symptoms.

Re-experiencing Symptoms

Re-experiencing symptoms may include having recurring or distressing memories of the traumatic event, having flashbacks or reliving the event, having nightmares or recurring dreams of the event, or distress when interacting with themes that remind them of the event.

Symptoms of Avoidance

Symptoms of avoidance can include removing themselves from thinking or talking about the event or avoiding places and activities that remind them of the event. An excellent example of this would be avoiding highway driving after experiencing an accident on the interstate.

Arousal Changes

Symptoms of changes in reactivity or emotional reactions (arousal) may include being frightened easily, being on guard, self-destructive behavior (drinking or driving too fast), trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, angry outbursts, and overwhelming guilt and shame.

Mood Changes

Symptoms of cognition or mood changes may be negative thoughts about yourself, hopelessness, memory problems, difficulty in close friendships, feeling detached from family and friends, feeling numb, or trouble experiencing positive emotions.

Diagnosis of PTSD

To diagnose PTSD, a doctor will:

DSM-5 criteria for PTSD are separated into similar defining symptoms:

The diagnostic team may also use the ICD-10 diagnostic criteria when determining PTSD like symptoms. Medical professionals will follow similar standards by documenting whether an individual has experienced the following:

These diagnoses help the care provider learn the best ways to understand the situation and manage your care.

Related Conditions

PTSD is related to other conditions like acute stress disorder, adjustment disorder, disinhibited social engagement disorder, and reactive attachment disorder.

Acute stress disorder can manifest anywhere from three days up to one month after a traumatic event. Adjustment disorder is a group of symptoms like stress, sadness, and feelings of hopelessness accompanying a stressful life event. Disinhibited social engagement disorder usually is an attachment disorder that can make it difficult for children to form meaningful connections with others. In adults, reactive attachment disorder is when adults show symptoms of the inability to maintain significant relationships, whether romantic or platonic. All of these disorders can be related to PTSD.

PTSD Treatments

Once there is a diagnosis of PTSD, the treatment begins. Common treatments include: 15
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This therapy focuses on the relationship among thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, addresses current problems and works on changing behavior patterns.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy teaches individuals to gradually approach these trauma-related memories. This helps them to reengage and learn that these situations do not need to be avoided.


Psychotherapy combines elements of CBT and focuses on changing the emotions of shame and guilt.


EMDR is a structured therapy that encourages patients to focus on a trauma memory while experiencing bilateral stimulation (eye movements), reducing vividness and emotion associated with the trauma.

Reprocessing Therapy

Reprocessing therapy or Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) helps establish a coherent life narrative that gives context to the trauma to change behavior.


Medications often associated with PTSD symptoms are antidepressants like Venlafaxine, anti-anxiety medications, and serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Each drug and treatment is dependent on the care and situation of the individual experiencing symptoms as not all medications are right for different people.

Coping and Support

During recovery from PTSD symptoms, it’s essential to work with a doctor to establish a treatment plan to follow. The journey is only beginning, and educating yourself about PTSD and the symptoms and causes is an excellent first step. Good sleep, nutrition, and exercise are recommended. Building connections and support groups can help you find individuals experiencing similar symptoms and situations. The internet has expanded how we communicate and offers virtual support groups to aid on that journey.

Finding Help for PTSD

Finding help is imperative when PTSD-like symptoms appear. You are not alone. Over 8 million Americans in any given year experience PTSD symptoms, and resources for support are available.

Numerous telehealth resources are available and can support the journey as you determine a path forward. Local community groups and more extensive programs like Veteran Affairs can also provide guidance and support for recovery from PTSD.

For resources in your state, visit your State’s Department of Mental Health to determine how you can get local help near you.



PTSD Self-Test

Repeated, disturbing memories, thoughts, or images of a stressful experience?

Repeated, disturbing dreams of a stressful experience?

Suddenly acting or feeling as if a stressful experience were happening again (as if you were reliving it)?

Feeling very upset when something reminded you of a stressful experience?

Having physical reactions (e.g., heart pounding, trouble breathing, sweating) when something reminded you of a stressful experience?

Avoiding thinking about or talking about a stressful experience or avoiding having feelings related to it?

Avoiding activities or situations because they reminded you of a stressful experience?

Trouble remembering important parts of a stressful experience?

Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy?

Feeling distant or cut off from other people?

Feeling emotionally numb or being unable to have loving feelings for those close to you?

Feeling as if your future will somehow be cut short?

Trouble falling or staying asleep?

Feeling irritable or having angry outbursts?

Having difficulty concentrating?

Being "super-alert" or watchful or on guard?

Feeling jumpy or easily startled?

Your result will show up here!