Health anxiety

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing event(s). People with PTSD often relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, difficulties concentrating, feelings of underlying tension, and outbursts of anger. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.

Do I have PTSD? 

Symptoms of PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD can arise suddenly, gradually, or come and go over time. Sometimes symptoms appear seemingly out of the blue. At other times, they are triggered by something that reminds you of the original traumatic event, such as a noise, an image, certain words, or a smell.  While everyone experiences PTSD differently, there are three main types of symptoms:

  1. Re-experiencing the traumatic event
  2. Avoiding reminders of the trauma
  3. Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
Symptoms of PTSD: Re-experiencing the traumatic event
  • Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
  • Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)
  • Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
  • Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma
  • Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)
Symptoms of PTSD: Avoidance and numbing
  • Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma
  • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Loss of interest in activities and life in general
  • Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
  • Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)
Symptoms of PTSD: Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)
  • Feeling jumpy and easily startled
Other common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

• Anger and irritability
• Guilt, shame, or self-blame
• Substance abuse
• Feelings of mistrust and betrayal
• Depression and hopelessness
• Suicidal thoughts and feelings
• Feeling alienated and alone
• Physical aches and pains 

Online therapy and treatment for PTSD

Several studies have found Trauma-Focused CBT and EMDR are especially helpful for overcoming PTSD, and NICE guidelines highly recommend these approaches. Several of our online therapists at Counselling Psychology Online are qualified in these approaches. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to arrange an initial assessment session.

You may also wish to look at our resources page for further ideas of getting help to managing PTSD related anxiety.



Coping with PTSD with Counselling Psychology Online


We provide bespoke therapy solutions for those suffering from PTSD here at Counselling Psychology Online. If you require any further information about us, please feel free to get in touch – al our contact details are here.

Additionally, answers to the most commonly asked questions about our therapies, fees and online therapy can be found on our FAQ page.