Signs & Symptoms

Children's PTSD symptoms fall into the following categories:

Re-experiencing

  • Moments when a child seems to replay the event in his or her mind
  • Intrusion of recurrent memories of the event or repetitive play about the event
  • nightmares, scary dreams

Arousal

  • Disorganized and agitated behavior
  • Irritability or anger
  • Nervousness about everyone and everything around the child, as when people get too close
  • Jumpy when hearing loud noises

Avoidance

  • Avoidance of thoughts, feelings, or places that remind the child of what happened
  • Numbing, or lack of, emotions

Other behaviors

  • Regression to earlier behavior, such as clinging, bedwetting, thumb sucking
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Detached from others, social withdrawal
  • Excessive use of alcohol or other substances to self medicate