Man sits on couch and puts head in hands as she shows common signs of PTSD to family member

What Are the Common Signs of PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. PTSD can commonly lead to substance misuse and addiction. It’s only natural to want to self-medicate pain and trauma, but it can only provide temporary relief. In fact, it typically worsens the long-term effects of the condition. It is important to know the common signs of PTSD so you can recognize it in yourself and others. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

At Washburn House, a leading addiction treatment center located in Worcester, Massachusetts, we understand the complexities of PTSD and its interplay with addiction. To discover how our PTSD treatment program can benefit you or a loved one, call us at 855.298.3104 today.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder triggered by traumatic events such as:

  • Natural disasters
  • Serious accidents
  • Terrorist acts
  • War and combat
  • Sexual assault
  • Other violent personal assaults

People who have PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that persist long after the traumatic event has ended.

What Are the Most Common Signs of PTSD?

The symptoms of PTSD can vary greatly among individuals but often fall into four main vital categories:

Intrusive Thoughts

These may include repeated, involuntary memories, distressing dreams, or flashbacks of the traumatic event.


People with PTSD may avoid people, places, activities, objects, and situations that remind them of the traumatic event.

Alterations in Cognition and Mood

This could include negative thoughts about oneself or the world, distorted feelings like guilt or blame, or loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed.

Arousal and Reactivity Changes

These can include irritability, angry outbursts, reckless or self-destructive behavior, difficulty sleeping, or being easily startled.

The Most Dangerous Symptoms of PTSD

While all symptoms of PTSD can significantly impact a person’s life, some are particularly dangerous. These include:

  • Severe emotional distress
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Self-destructive behavior

Because of how significant and potentially life-threatening the symptoms of PTSD can be, it’s essential to seek professional help as soon as possible. If you or someone you know exhibits these signs, it’s crucial to seek professional help immediately.

There’s a strong correlation between PTSD and addiction. Many individuals with PTSD turn to substances as a coping mechanism, leading to a cycle of addiction. At Washburn House, we offer a co-occurring disorder treatment program designed to address both conditions simultaneously. It’s important to treat both simultaneously because they can have a mutually reinforcing relationship.

Our program not only offers evidence-based treatments for PTSD and substance misuse but also works to uncover the underlying causes of both conditions.

Getting Treatment for PTSD

Recognizing the signs of PTSD is the first step toward getting help. At Washburn House, we provide a range of therapies, including cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) and Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which have proven effective in treating PTSD. Our team of professionals is dedicated to helping our clients navigate their healing journey in a compassionate, supportive environment.

Call Washburn House’s PSTD Treatment Program Now

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, seeking help is vital. Please reach out to us at Washburn House by calling 855.298.3104 or completing our online form. We’re here to help guide you through your recovery journey, providing comprehensive care tailored to your unique needs. Remember, seeking help is the first step toward healing. Everyone deserves to live a life free from PTSD and addiction. Contact us today and start your journey to wellness.

Scroll to Top