Arousal Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)



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As a piece of being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, a person needs to experience symptoms in four separate categories beyond just exposure to a traumatic event.

One of these categories is the development of arousal symptoms, which look like changes in a person’s reactivity following the occurrence of a traumatic event.

A common arousal symptom is the development of irritability and anger outbursts that seem to come out of nowhere, which is typically shown through verbal or physical aggression towards objects or others. Reckless or destructive behavior that was not present prior to the traumatic event.

The development of hypervigilance, which is an enhanced state of sensitivity to the world around a person which is meant to keep a person safe, but it comes with a significant increase in anxiety, which usually then leads to emotional exhaustion.

A heightened or increased start response, problems with concentration, and difficulty sleeping. All of the arousal symptoms associated with the development of PTSD are “external symptoms”, and they usually take the greatest toll on a person’s relationships and activities of daily living.

Watch other videos in this Psych in 60 series to learn more about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and leave your questions in the comments below!

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