Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Arousal Symptoms


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Arousal Symptoms

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!

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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