Avoiding Thoughts and Reminders of the Trauma

PTSD Avoidance Symptoms

Because thinking about the trauma and feeling as if you are in danger is upsetting, people with PTSD symptoms often try to avoid reminders of the event.
 
Sometimes, survivors are aware that they are avoiding reminders; other times, survivors do not realize that their behavior is motivated by the need to avoid such reminders.
 
Symptoms that signify ways of avoiding thoughts, feelings, and sensations associated with the trauma can include:
 
  • Actively avoiding trauma-related thoughts and memories
  • Avoiding conversations and staying away from places, activities, or people that might remind you of the trauma
  • Trouble remembering important parts of what happened during the trauma
  • Shutting down emotionally or feeling emotionally numb
  • Trouble having loving feelings or feeling any strong emotions
  • Finding that things around you seem strange or unreal
  • Feeling strange
  • Feeling disconnected from the world around you and things that happen to you
  • Avoiding situations that might make you have a strong emotional reaction
  • Feeling strange physical sensations
  • Feeling physically numb
  • Not feeling pain or other sensations
  • Losing interest in things you used to enjoy doing.
     
Trying to avoid thinking about the trauma and avoiding treatment for related problems may keep a person from feeling upset in the short term, but avoiding treatment means that in the long term, symptoms of PTSD will persist.
 
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About PTSD

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