Signs & Symptoms

  • A subjective sense of numbing, detachment, or absence of emotional responsiveness
  • A reduction in awareness of his or her surroundings (e.g., “being in a daze”)
  • Depersonalization – feeling that one’s body is unreal, is changing, or dissolving
  • De-realization – perception that the external environment is unreal
  • Dissociative amnesia – the mind splits off certain aspects of the trauma from conscious awareness; can affect the person’s memory, sense of reality and sense of identity.

The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in least one of the following ways:

  • Recurrent images, thoughts, dreams, illusions, flashback episodes or a sense of reliving the experience, or distress on exposure to reminders of the event.
  • Significant avoidance of stimuli that arouse recollections of the trauma, such as avoiding thoughts, feelings, conversations, activities, places, people.
  • Significant symptoms of anxiety or increased arousal (e.g., difficulty sleeping, irritability, poor concentration, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, motor restlessness).