What is Delayed Onset PTSD? How to Recognize the Symptoms and Get Help

What is Delayed Onset PTSD? How to Recognize the Symptoms and Get Help

Delayed onset PTSD is a relatively new diagnosis that is being given to people who do not show symptoms of PTSD until months or even years after the traumatic event has occurred. This can be very confusing and frustrating for both the person suffering from the disorder and their loved ones. In this blog post, we will discuss what delayed-onset PTSD is, how to recognize the symptoms, and where to go for help.

What Is The Delayed Onset Of PTSD?

What Is The Delayed Onset Of PTSD?Delayed onset of PTSD is described as a condition where the symptoms of PTSD do not develop until six months or more after the initial trauma. This is different from acute stress disorder, which occurs within four weeks of the event. While it is less common, delayed onset PTSD can be just as debilitating as other forms of PTSD.

More often, this condition is seen in men than women. And, individuals who have experienced multiple traumas are also more likely to develop delayed onset PTSD. People with this condition may feel like they are not coping well, and may avoid talking about the event that caused their trauma.

People usually did not develop PTSD unless they were exposed to the event, either directly or indirectly. However, there are some people who are more vulnerable to developing the condition. It is believed that if you have a close friend or family member who has PTSD, you may be more likely to develop the condition yourself.

If you think you may have delayed onset PTSD, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist can help you understand your symptoms and develop a plan to manage them. With treatment, you can learn how to cope with your trauma and live a fulfilling life.

Signs To Recognize Delayed Onset Of PTSD

As the delayed onset of PTSD is about the development of symptoms sometime after the event that caused the trauma, it can be difficult to know if you have it. However, there are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Avoiding anything that reminds you of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Feeling on edge or irritable
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Intense distress when exposed to anything that reminds you of the trauma
  • Losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Persistent negative thoughts and feelings
  • Feeling hopeless, detached, or numb

Moreover, the symptoms of delayed onset PTSD may be similar to those of other conditions, so it’s important to get a professional opinion. For example, symptoms of depression and anxiety can overlap with those of PTSD. In fact, studies have found that the symptoms become in light when individuals with PTSD are also experiencing depression.

The symptoms to recognize this condition can be really varied, so if you’re experiencing any of the above or are unsure, it’s always best to speak with a doctor or mental health professional. They’ll be able to give you a diagnosis and help you develop a treatment plan.

Delayed onset PTSD is a serious condition that can severely impact your life if not treated. However, there is hope. With the right treatment plan, you can manage your symptoms and live a fulfilling life. If you think you might have delayed onset PTSD, reach out for help.

Causes And Risk Factors

Causes And Risk FactorsWhen delayed onset PTSD is mentioned, people often think of soldiers who have been in combat. However, this condition can occur after any type of traumatic event. Some of the common causes of this condition include:

  • Serious accidents
  • Natural disasters
  • Witnessing a violent act
  • Being the victim of a crime

Delayed onset PTSD can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race. However, there are some risk factors that may make someone more likely to develop this condition. These include:

  • Previous exposure to trauma
  • A family history of mental illness
  • Chronic health problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Not having a support system
  • Prolonged exposure to the event
  • Not being able to cope with the event in a healthy way

These are some of the common causes and risk factors associated with delayed onset PTSD. If you have experienced a traumatic event, it’s important to be aware of these factors so that you can seek help if necessary. Because this is a condition that can often be misunderstood, it’s important to learn as much as you can about it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with delayed onset PTSD, there are resources available to help. Also, you should not hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional for assistance. Remember, you are not alone in this. With the right help, you can manage your symptoms and live a full life.

How Does It Impact Life?

How Does It Impact Life?There are four main types of symptoms that people with delayed onset PTSD experience: re-experiencing, avoidance, numbing/detachment, and increased anxiety and arousal. These can make it hard to go about daily life activities. Re-experiencing symptoms may cause a person to have flashbacks or nightmares.

From there, the negative consequences of avoidance can set in, some of the negative impacts include:

Social isolation

This is one of the most debilitating aspects of delayed onset PTSD. When you avoid people, places, and activities that remind you of the trauma, it’s easy to become isolated. You may pull away from family and friends, lose interest in things you once enjoyed, and stop participating in activities altogether. Also, isolation is a risk factor for developing PTSD.

Loss of job or career

If you’re avoiding trauma reminders, it may be difficult to maintain a job or further your career. You might start calling in sick often, have difficulty concentrating, or get fired because of your attendance or performance. This can lead to financial instability and even homelessness. More often, this is a result of social isolation, as people with delayed onset PTSD may stop leaving the house or taking care of themselves.

Substance abuse

People with delayed onset PTSD may turn to drugs or alcohol to numb their emotions. This can lead to addiction and make it even harder to cope with the symptoms of PTSD. For example, a person with PTSD may start drinking heavily to avoid feeling flashbacks or intrusive thoughts. But this substance abuse further leads to other problems.

Strained personal relationships

People with delayed onset of PTSD may have strained personal relationships. The symptoms of the disorder can make it hard to trust others or be close to them. This can make it difficult to maintain healthy and supportive relationships. For example, a person with PTSD may avoid being intimate with their partner or talking to them about their trauma.

Difficulty functioning at school

If you are a child with delayed PTSD, you may have difficulty functioning at school. The symptoms of the disorder can make it hard to concentrate or pay attention in class. You may also struggle with making friends or participating in activities. For example, a person with PTSD may avoid going to school because they feel anxious or unsafe. In fact, it is also common for children with delayed PTSD to be misdiagnosed with ADHD.

All of these things can make it difficult to maintain a healthy and fulfilling life. If you think you may have delayed PTSD, it’s important to reach out for help. There are many resources available to you. You don’t have to suffer in silence.

Treatment Options For Delayed Onset Of PTSD

The delayed onset of PTSD can be difficult to deal with but there are treatment options available. If you or someone you know is struggling with the delayed onset of PTSD, it is important to seek professional help. There are many resources available to help people cope with this condition. Here are a few ways to treat this condition:

Talk therapy

Talk therapy is believed to have a positive effect on people with PTSD. This type of therapy can help people process their trauma and work through their feelings. It aims to help people understand their thoughts and behaviors and how they can change them. More often, a therapist in talk therapy is a trained professional who can help identify certain thoughts or behaviors that may be contributing to the problem.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of talk therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating PTSD. This therapy helps people to understand how their thoughts and beliefs about their trauma can affect their feelings and behaviors. CBT can also help people change their thinking and behaviors. It works with people to identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs. The basic goal of CBT is to help people learn new skills and ways of thinking that will help them cope with their trauma.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)

EMDR is a type of therapy that uses eye movements to help people process their trauma. This therapy can help people to access and process memories of their trauma. EMDR can also help people to change their negative thoughts and beliefs about their trauma. This therapy has been shown to be effective in treating PTSD. However, this therapy is not right for everyone.


medicationThis is often considered a last resort but medication can be prescribed to help with the symptoms of PTSD. The most common type of medication used to treat PTSD is antidepressants. Antidepressants can help to improve mood, sleep, and appetite. They can also help to reduce anxiety and depression. Some people may also be prescribed anti-anxiety medications or sleeping pills. Here are a few examples of medications for delayed onset of PTSD:

It is believed that medication possesses side effects to some extent. Therefore, it is important to speak with a doctor about the potential risks and benefits of taking medication for the delayed onset of PTSD. Also, medications are not a cure for PTSD. They are only meant to help manage the symptoms.

Support groups

It is believed that support groups are beneficial for people with delayed onset PTSD because they can offer social support, normalize symptoms, and provide information about the disorder. Additionally, members of support groups can offer practical advice about how to cope with symptoms and manage daily life. Some people find it helpful to talk to others who have experienced similar traumas.

There are types of support groups, for example, some might be led by a mental health professional, while others are run by people who have PTSD themselves. There are also online support groups that can be accessed from the comfort of your own home.

If you think you might benefit from a support group, talk to your doctor or therapist about finding one in your area. You can also search online for “PTSD support groups” to find one that meets your needs. If you’re not ready to join a group, that’s OK. You can also get support from friends and family members, or look for online resources. Remember, you are not alone in this journey.

Self-care strategies

Although professional help is necessary but with self-care, you can manage the symptoms of delayed onset PTSD. You should:

  • Understand your triggers: Identify the situations, people, or places that make your symptoms worse. Avoiding these triggers can help reduce your symptoms.
  • Create a support system: Lean on friends and family members who will offer you emotional support and understanding. Consider joining a support group for people with PTSD.
  • Get enough rest: When you’re dealing with the symptoms of delayed onset PTSD, it’s important to get enough sleep. Make sure to schedule time for relaxation and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating nutritious foods can help improve your mood and energy levels. Avoid caffeine and sugar, which can make symptoms worse.
  • Get regular exercise: Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. A moderate amount of exercise is the key to maintaining your mental health.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help you manage stress and anxiety.

These are some self-care strategies that can help you manage the symptoms of delayed onset PTSD. If you’re struggling to cope with your symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help. PTSD can be a difficult thing to deal with, but you are not alone. With self-care and professional help, you can manage the symptoms of delayed onset PTSD.


Delayed onset of PTSD is basically when the symptoms of PTSD kick in long after the traumatic event has occurred. It can take months, or even years, for the person to start experiencing symptoms. If you or someone you know is displaying any of the aforementioned symptoms and it’s impacting their quality of life, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional for help.

Moreover, you should understand that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It takes a lot of strength and courage to confront your demons and start working on healing yourself. If you are struggling to find the right one, you can contact Mantra Care for expert guidance.

Mantra Care is the leading provider of mental health services around the globe. With a team of highly qualified and experienced mental health professionals, we are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients. Mantra Care is always here to help you improve your quality of life! You can also book a therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.

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