What To Know About Delayed-Onset PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that is characterized by a set of symptoms that a person exhibits at least a month after experiencing a traumatic experience. It is possible that some people may experience symptoms right after experiencing the traumatic event but for some people that issue takes longer to manifest. The delayed response is diagnosed as delayed-onset PTSD.Β 

Delayed-onset PTSD is a post-traumatic disorder where the affected individual does not pass the diagnosis of PTSD until six plus months after the traumatic experience. If we put this in other words then we can say that the individual might have symptoms of PTSD but those symptoms are not that severe to pass a diagnosis. The signs and symptoms of of delayed onset of PTSD can be:Β 

  • Memories of traumatic event
  • Repetitive nightmares of the traumatic event
  • Negative thoughts and hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Emotional numbness and detachment

It is not clear why this condition takes place but some researchers have tried putting light to it. It is observed that those people are at risk who are experiencing some PTSD symptoms but those are not severe enough to meet the disorder diagnostic criteria right after the traumatic event. Additional high stress levels can worsen the existing symptoms which are enough to get transformed into full on diagnosable delayed PTSD. Various stress events might include life stressors, additional traumatic experiences which can make the symptoms more severe.Β 

Delayed-onset PTSD can be treated through psychological therapy. This therapy like CBT incorporates numerous techniques which are developed to help the individuals deal with delayed-onset PTSD. Wellbeing therapy is another treatment which can be used to help the sufferers. This includes more outdoor activities. In some cases medications are also used.Β 


If an individual fails to meet the PTSD diagnostic criteria, PTSD focused therapy can be used to resolve symptoms. At the same time it provides additional support, and provides better-coping strategies in cases of future life stressors.


Leave a comment