Traumatic stress can happen when someone experiences trauma.
Trauma can be experienced when:
- A person goes through a traumatic event.
- A person sees someone go through a traumatic event or learns about a traumatic event from someone else.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is diagnosis given to someone who experiences trauma and develops symptoms that make it difficult to function in their daily lives.
Post-traumatic stress can cause symptoms such as:
- Experiencing the trauma over again through flashbacks, nightmares, or upsetting thoughts.
- Avoiding places, events, people, objects, thoughts, and feelings that are reminders of the traumatic experience.
- Feeling tense or easily startled.
- Being overly aware of yourself or surroundings.
- Trouble with sleeping.
- Getting easily upset, having outbursts, feeling irritable or grumpy.
- Feeling guilt or blame.
- Loss of interest in doing things you once liked or enjoyed.
- Thinking bad thoughts that won’t go away about people, the world, or yourself.
Trauma affects everyone differently. Not everyone that experiences trauma will be diagnosed with PTSD.
If you experience a traumatic event, you could have all, some, or none of the symptoms of PTSD.
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.