Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that may occur after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic incident.
While it was formerly associated with war-time veterans, PTSD can develop after any event where a person feels a sense of danger, even when there’s no imminent threat. Some causes of PTSD can include natural disasters, near-death experiences, mass violence, physical violence or abuse, or serious medical events.
If you live with PTSD, you may constantly experience an elevated “fight, flight, or freeze” response, even from the slightest trigger.
A trigger generally occurs when you encounter a sound, place, feeling, or anything else related to the event. This could be:
- a loud noise (triggering memories of gunshots or parents fighting)
- a childhood bedroom (triggering memories of abuse)
- being alone in your apartment (triggering memories of unsafety and helplessness as a child)
Symptoms of PTSD can look different from person to person. This can include:
- intrusion symptoms such as flashbacks
- constant avoidance
- changes in moods and thoughts
- reactivity symptoms such as being hyperalert or vigilant about your surroundings
If you think you’re experiencing PTSD, there is hope. PTSD is not a lifelong sentence. Consider reaching out to a mental health professional to learn coping strategies and how to manage your symptoms.
This brief, time-saving questionnaire is designed for anyone who thinks they may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD.
The items below will help you determine whether you may need additional help and professional support for your symptoms.
A mental health professional can also help figure out if your issues might be a symptom of PTSD and recommend treatment if needed.
This online screening is not a definitive tool. It is not designed to diagnose PTSD or take the place of a professional diagnosis.
You can, however, use this test as a self-screening tool to track your moods. You could also use it to show your doctor how your symptoms have changed from one visit to the next.
Only a trained medical professional, such as a doctor or mental health professional, can help you determine the next best steps for you.
Can you self-diagnose yourself with PTSD?
No. An evaluation by a doctor with a mental health background, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, is required to receive a formal diagnosis of PTSD.
How do you test if you have PTSD?
To test for PTSD, a doctor will conduct both a psychological and physical examination. In the psychological examination, you will be tested for various symptoms commonly associated with PTSD, such as flashbacks, avoidance behavior, high alertness, and changes in mood.
What are the 5 signs of PTSD?
PTSD is generally described as having five main signs. These include:
- A traumatic event: Experiencing or witnessing something traumatic.
- Intrusion symptoms: Experiencing internal reminders of the traumatic event, either through flashbacks, unpleasant memories, or nightmares.
- Avoidance symptoms: Avoiding a person, place, or situation to prevent being reminded of the traumatic event.
- Reactivity symptoms: Experiencing a change of mood due to the traumatic event, such as feeling irritable, angry, or having trouble concentrating.
- Alertness symptoms: Feeling constantly on high alert and hypervigilant of danger.