Secondary and Associated Signs of PTSD

Secondary and Associated Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Secondary symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are problems that arise because of the re-experiencing and avoidance symptoms themselves. For example, because a person wants to avoid talking about a traumatic event, she might cut off from friends, which would eventually cause her to feel lonely and depressed.
 
As time passes after a traumatic experience, more secondary symptoms may develop. Over time, these can become more troubling and disabling than the original symptoms of re-experiencing and avoidance.
 
Associated symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder don't come directly from being overwhelmed with fear; they occur because of other things that were going on at the time of the trauma. For example, a person who is psychologically traumatized in a car accident might also be physically injured and then get depressed because he can't work or leave the house.
 
Common secondary or associated post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms include:
 
  • Depression
  • Despair and hopelessness
  • Loss of important beliefs
  • Aggressive behavior toward oneself or others
  • Self-blame, guilt, and shame
  • Relationship problems
  • Detachment from others
  • Being argumentative
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy doing
  • Social isolation
  • Health problems
  • Drug and alcohol abuse.
     
Each of these symptoms is discussed in more detail in the following sections.
 
Depression
Depression can develop when a person has losses connected with the trauma or when a person avoids other people and becomes isolated.
 
Despair and Hopelessness
Despair and hopelessness can result when a person is afraid that he or she will never feel better again.
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Info

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