You can look at lists of symptoms online but basically, you feel crappy. Anxious, on edge, suspicious, unsafe. Or a lot of people feel numb a lot of the time. They deaden themselves from the pain either with drugs (and that includes pharmaceuticals) or psychologically on their own, but when you do that you deaden yourself to the joy in life as well.
PTSD is when the trauma re-wires our brain, so that our fight or flight system, which is designed to totally take over when you sense a threat, won’t fully rest. So, you always have adrenaline and cortisol and the other stress hormones going and it becomes impossible to sleep well or relax or be in the moment and have fun.
You have the feeling that something is wrong, or will go wrong, or someone is against you. And it’s not logical. It has nothing to do with your logical brain. And when your therapist or someone else tells you that it doesn’t make sense for you to feel that way, you’re like “No shit, but why am I still flipping out over here?”.
Not sure if you have PTSD? Take the screening quiz to find out if you have PTSD symptoms.