Cognitive Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Cognitive Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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 is the experience of cognitive symptoms which are marked changes in a person’s mood or thinking that began or worsened after the traumatic event occurred.

These can look like an inability to remember important aspects of the traumatic event even though a person was conscious and sober.

Experiencing negative beliefs about people or the world around them, such as “The world is always dangerous” or “No one can be trusted.”

Having inaccurate beliefs about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event, such as a person taking the blame for their own sexual assault or feeling guilty for surviving an accident when a friend did not.

Having consistent, negative emotional states, like feeling fear, anger, or guilt throughout the whole day.

Experiencing a significant decrease in participation or interest in normal activities.

Feeling detached or estranged from others, and lastly, a persistent inability to experience any positive emotions, such as happiness or feelings of love towards others.

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!

Click here for more content by Jennifer Fights, NCC, LPC!

Jennifer Fights, NCC, LPC
Jennifer is a strengths-based clinician who is creative, compassionate and non-judgmental. She enjoys working with adolescents, adults, and families. When providing therapy, her special interests include working with trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and self-harming behaviors. Jennifer is also trained in EMDR and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and incorporates these treatment modalities into her work when appropriate. In her work with adolescents specifically, Jennifer has expertise in behavioral disorders and defiance issues. When working with families, she strives to come alongside married and divorced parents alike, helping them effectively co-parent their children. Jennifer also helps children struggle well with difficult family circumstances. In addition, she enjoys integrating client’s faith with clinical treatment. As she feels strongly about educating and empowering others, Jennifer regularly provides training for fellow clinicians, non-profit organizations, parent and teen groups and educational institutions.


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