Current evidence suggests that whilst most people initially experience difficulties following a traumatic event, the majority of people do not develop persistent trauma related difficulties

However, you are more likely to experience PTSD if you:

  • Were directly exposed to the traumatic event as a victim or a witness
  • Were seriously injured during the event
  • Went through a trauma that was long lasting or very severe
  • Believed that you were in danger
  • Believed that a family member was in danger
  • Had a severe reaction during the event, such as crying, shaking, vomiting, or feeling apart from surroundings
  • Felt helpless during the trauma and were not able to help yourself or a loved one
  • Had an earlier life-threatening event or trauma, such as being abused as a child
  • Have another mental health problem
  • Have family members who have had mental health problems
  • Have little support from family and friends
  • Have recently lost a loved one, especially if it was unexpected
  • Have had recent, stressful life changes
  • Drink a lot of alcohol
  • Are a woman
  • Are poorly educated
  • Are younger

A month or so after the event, if you are not experiencing any reduction in your symptoms it might be time to start to look for some additional help by discussing this with your GP in the first instance.

Trauma screening questionnaire

Please consider the following reactions that sometimes occur after a traumatic event. This questionnaire is concerned with your personal reactions to the traumatic event.

Answer yes at least twice in the past week or no to the following questions

  1. Upsetting thoughts or memories about the event that have come into your mind against your will.
  2. Upsetting dreams about the event.
  3. Acting or feeling as though the event were happening again.
  4. Feeling upset by reminders of the event.
  5. Bodily reactions (such as fast heartbeat, stomach churning, sweatiness, dizziness) when reminded of the event.
  6. Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  7. Irritability or outbursts of anger.
  8. Difficulty concentrating.
  9. Heightened awareness of potential dangers to yourself and others.
  10. Being jumpy or being startled at something unexpected.