June 13

Physical Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD affects every part of the brain. So, logically, it affects every part of the body as well.

As you read the list of physical symptoms below, try to imagine what it’s like to actually experience them. For example, “When I say ‘I’m tired,’ what I mean is ‘I am being pulled under quicksand by something that is the weight of ten elephants.’”

  • Very high cortisol (stress hormone) levels over extended periods of time
  • Perpetually dry skin, increased scarring
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Exhaustion
  • Increased allergic reactions
  • Chronic pain
  • Repeated ear infections and terrible headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Distorted vision and hearing
  • Sensory overload
  • Panic attacks
  • Blackouts
  • Pain from whole-body muscle contractions during nightmares

As one PTSD sufferer says, “I was different once upon a time. Now I need to learn to love who I’ve become.”

The good news: Believe it or not, that can actually happen.