Do you have any of the following problems? If you check at least seven of the following items and it is several months after you have experienced a catastrophic event, it is advisable to have a professional consultation to determine if therapy for PTSD is indicated.

1. I have strong physical sensations (e.g., sweating, rapid heart beat) when I think about the event.

2. I try to avoid having upsetting thoughts or having contact with things or places associated with the event.

3. My feelings are numb and I have difficulty experiencing normal pleasure and happiness.

4. I am always watchful to make sure I don’t experience the same event again.

5. I have feelings of guilt associated with the traumatic event.

6. I have the feeling of being unreal or that the world is unreal.

7. I feel alienated or isolated from others.

8. I get irritated or angry a lot.

9. I have flashbacks of the event (feeling like the past event is happening all over again in the present).

10. I have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because memories of the event come into my mind.

11. I have memory difficulties and trouble concentrating these days.

12. I am easily startled when I hear a loud noise or when danger seems imminent.

13. I have been relying increasingly on alcohol or drugs to get through the day.

Baya Mebarek, Psy.D., LMFT