As we have seen in several of the previously published articles on this website, severe childhood trauma can lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you are concerned you might suffer from the condition, it is important to seek advice from a relevantly qualified mental health professional.
However, if you want to find out if you have symptoms which PTSD can cause, you may find it interesting and useful to look at the list of items below and count up how many apply to you. REMEMBER, THE TEST DOES NOT REPLACE A PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ASSESSMENT AND DIAGNOSIS.
SELF-REPORT POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) TEST :
(score 1 point for each item you answer YES to)
1) Have you been exposed to a traumatic event or events?
2) Did the trauma cause you to experience feelings of intense fear/ horror and powerlessness/impotence/helplessness
3) Does it sometimes feel as if you are reliving or re-experiencing the trauma (ie flashbacks)
4) Do you experience nightmares which are associated with the trauma that you experienced
5) Did the traumatic experience involve you witnessing serious injury/death or did it involve you being seriously injured/threatened with death?
6) Do you have thoughts or mental images related to the trauma which are intrusive, difficult to control and hard to dispel from the mind?
7) When something reminds you of the trauma, or you find thoughts about it intruding on your mind, does it cause serious distress?
8) Do you avoid things that remind you of the trauma? Examples include activities, people and places
9) Do you find you have less interest in activities that you used to enjoy?
10) Are you unable to remember something significant that occurred during the trauma (this is sometimes referred to as repression)
11) Do you try to avoid speaking about what happened during the trauma?
12) Do you find yourself more irritable than you were before the trauma occurred and that you get angry much more often?
13) Do you suffer from insomnia (such as finding it hard to get off to sleep and/or waking too early)?
14) Has your concentration become impaired since the trauma?
15) Do you find you no longer wish to interact with others as much as you did prior to the trauma and that you now have difficulty trusting other people?
16) Do you fear that, because of the trauma you suffered, it will significantly, negatively impinge upon your future life in areas such as career, relationships and life span?
17) Has your ‘startle response’ become more sensitive since the trauma?
18) Have the symptoms that you’ve experienced since the trauma lasted for a minimum of one month so far?
19) Since the trauma, do you find it harder to feel emotions (eg feeling ‘numb’ for much of the time) and/or harder to display emotions to others?
20) Do you feel hypervigilant (ie feel as if you are constantly on ‘red alert’) for much of the time and constantly have a sense of impending disaster?
21) Have what used to be your everyday routines been disrupted by how you now feel (eg social life, work)?
A guide to interpreting your score :
0-3 It is not likely that you have PTSD
4-9 It is likely you have PTSD
10 + It is very likely you have PTSD
DISCLAIMER – This does NOT provide you with a diagnosis, it is just a guide. If you suspect you have PTSD or a related condition, you are strongly advised to seek the relevant professional advice.
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).