What exactly is PTSD? What are the symptoms? Gain a better understanding and learn what can be done.

What is PTSD?

There are many ways to explain the specifics behind Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, some of which would leave you more confused than before you asked the question, after all the human mind is a very complex and yet wonderful computer. However, I personally found that the statement below describes it in the best way;

“If something extremely traumatic or life threatening happens to us or if we see it happen to someone else, it can affect us physically and mentally, affecting the way we think about things. You might develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, if you experience something where you feel really frightened, helpless or like you might die".

Key symptoms of PTSD

A wide variety of symptoms may be signs that you are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. The following are some of the most common symptoms of PTSD that you, your Partner, Family, Friends and those around you may have noticed:

  • Feeling upset by things that remind you of what happened
  • Experiencing night tremors, vivid memories, or flashbacks of the event that make you feel like it’s happening all over again
  • Feeling emotionally cut off from others
  • Feeling numb or losing interest in the things you used to care about
  • Feeling consistently guarded
  • Feeling irritated, anxious and/or having angry outbursts
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Being jumpy or easily startled


It’s not just the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder but also how you may react to them that can disrupt your life. You may:

  • Frequently avoiding places, experiences or things that remind you of what happened, also known as "Triggers"
  • Consistently drink or use drugs to numb your feelings
  • Consider harming yourself or others
  • Working all the time and generally keeping yourself busy, to occupy your mind
  • Pulling away from friends, family, loved ones and people in general, becoming isolated and a recluse.

What can be done

Self-help 

The importance of ensuring that individuals can gain information, support and assistance as soon as possible, cannot be underestimated. Therefore, Self-help is critical although should not be seen, as a long-term solution without the correct treatment from qualified personnel. However, with increasingly longer waiting times at our Doctors surgeries and mainstream charities, due to the overwhelming numbers, it is the next best thing.

Local Support

All over the country there are local support groups being set up, so those struggling with mental health challenges and PTSD, can get together with those who can relate to the issues faced on a daily basis. Many work alongside the major charities and organisations around, and can certainly provide a level of support, especially for the families and partners, whilst you await additional long term support. You can find your nearest local support group via the Self Help Map on our homepage.

Charities & Organisations

Along with those mainstream charities such as Combat Stress and Help for Heroes, there are also a whole host of smaller registered charities and social enterprise organisations, that provide a wide range of support and services, a selection of which can be found on our Support(link) page.

Contact Us

Tel: + 44 7434 006 110    Email: nick.wilson@forcesonline.org


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