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  • Writer's pictureKennedy McLean

PTSD...Would You Recognize It?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is it?

A natural emotional response to frightening or dangerous experiences involving actual or threatened serious harm to oneself or others.

Symptoms usually appear within 3 months, but for others they can take years to appear which can be confusing for many people.

What are the symptoms?

  • Intrusive distressing memories of the event

  • Re-experiencing (acting or feeling like the event is happening again), this can be in the form of flashbacks

  • Nightmares

  • Emotional numbness or feeling detached from others

  • Avoidance of thoughts, feelings, or conversations about the event

  • Feeling upset when reminded of the event

  • Avoiding people, places, or activities that are reminders of the traumatic experience

  • Avoiding friends and family

  • Losing interest in activities that used to be enjoyable

  • Inability to feel pleasure/ ongoing negative emotional state

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Feeling jumpy

  • Having sudden periods where you feel dizziness, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Being easily irritated or angered

  • Reckless behaviour

  • Constant worrying

Not everyone who experiences traumatic events develops PTSD. There are many factors that contribute to this.

Some identified risk factors include:

  • Prior trauma exposure

  • Lack of support after the trauma

  • Feeling guilty, or responsible for the event

  • Feeling helpless

  • Stresses after the trauma occurs such as job loss, pain/injury, divorce

  • A history of mental health or substance use problems

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from PTSD, or if you have experienced a traumatic event and you don't have PTSD but you just don't feel "right," talk to someone. One of the best predictors for recovery is early treatment and intervention.

About Kennedy

Kennedy has been working in the field of addiction and mental health for 10 years. She currently runs a virtual private practice treating clients throughout Ontario.   

Kennedy's practice currently focuses on trauma, attachment, couples therapy. Associate therapists work with people of all ages experiencing a wide range of concerns such as stress, depression, anxiety, relationship distress, and grief for example.

Anything written in blog posts are the thoughts of Kennedy. They are intended to offer information that may be interesting or useful for contemplation.


Nothing written is intended to be a substitute for seeking professional help.

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