What are the Signs of a PTSD Attack?

What are the Signs of a PTSD Attack?

When one goes through a traumatic experience – especially at an early age – they’re susceptible to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While this is a common condition, the way it presents itself can be quite complex. Leaving many to wonder what are the signs of a PTSD attack.

Throughout this article, we’re going to take a deeper look at these signs and what you can do to prevent future PTSD attacks. At the end, we invite you to ask further questions.

What is a PTSD Attack?

When you experience a PTSD attack, you’re experiencing a handful of PTSD symptoms all at once. These are largely similar to panic or anxiety attacks, but with the key difference being the trigger.

PTSD triggers are always related to a previously experienced traumatic event. For example, let’s say you developed the condition after getting into a car accident. Let’s also say the color of the car involved was red. Under these circumstances, you may experience PTSD attacks when you see red cars. ¹

While PTSD symptoms may be present throughout your day-to-day life, the difference with an attack is these symptoms are heightened, leaving you to feel overwhelmed.

Such symptoms may include: ²

  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling like you’re going to die
  • Loss of control (physically and mentally)
  • Nausea
  • Racing heart
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating

Naturally, PTSD attacks may add a layer of fear to those who struggle with the condition. That is, they may leave individuals avoiding PTSD triggers simply to avoid an attack.

Long Terms Effects of PTSD

Since PTSD panic attack symptoms can be detrimental in day-to-day life, they can have unintended long-term consequences.

Most notably, due to avoidance of PTSD triggers, you may find yourself not living the life you desire to live. In other words, PTSD may prevent you from accomplishing goals you have, such as going to school, getting a job, or developing a relationship.

Furthermore, PTSD physical symptoms can produce negative long-term health consequences. For example, an increase in blood pressure and heart rate can lead to certain conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, or aneurysms. ³

Due to these long-term consequences, it’s important to identify and treat the signs of PTSD attacks as soon as possible.

Long terms consequences of PTSD attacks

PTSD Attack: What to Do?

If you’ve noticed you struggle with the signs of a PTSD attack, the first step is to find the right treatment path. While this will likely include a round of anti-anxiety medication, it also involves psychotherapy.

When it comes to PTSD attacks, psychotherapies are key in overcoming them. The reason being is they will help you identify PTSD triggers. Through this identification, you have a better chance of recognizing when PTSD attacks will occur and subsequently, easing that anxiety. ⁴

Unlike some medical conditions, PTSD is a treatable disorder. In other words, anyone who receives a PTSD diagnosis has the ability to overcome and cure this condition.

Alternative Treatments for PTSD Attacks

While traditional PTSD treatment is extremely effective, some have looked towards holistic measures to further ease symptoms. Some of these measures are recommended by doctors, but for others, there’s simply not enough research for a medical professional to prescribe.

With that said, you should ALWAYS consult a medical professional before trying any alternative treatment route. None of the following have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and therefore, do not have accepted medical applications.

Since the signs of a PTSD attack may appear suddenly, most people want something that will have an instant effect. In such cases, we recommend:

Cannabis and CBD

With recent legalization, cannabis has become a popular form of treatment for PTSD. In fact, even in states where cannabis is just medically legalized, most recognize PTSD as a qualifying condition.

This is thanks to the fact that a number of studies have pointed to cannabis’s therapeutic qualities and ability to relieve PTSD symptoms. ⁵

Furthermore, people who struggle with PTSD may find cannabis effective because it potentially provides instant relief. When smoked, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is immediately dispersed into the bloodstream through the lungs. Providing you with a “high” in less than 5 minutes.

Still, cannabis may in fact cause more anxiety in some individuals due to its psychotropic effects. In such cases, cannabidiol (CBD) may be a better option. ⁶ Beyond the fact that CBD isn’t psychoactive, certain products (such as CBD flower and vapes) still provide instant relief.

Secret Nature CBD Flower

Secret Nature CBD Flower

Interested in trying CBD flower? We recommend the brand Secret Nature both for its variety of products and high-quality manufacturing techniques.


  • Wide selection of flower, pre-rolls, and vapes
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While ashwagandha will not provide you with instant effects, it may help to ease PTSD symptoms over time. Research has found ashwagandha is effective in easing: ⁷

  • Anxiety
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of endurance
  • Low libido
  • Neurological conditions
  • Poor memory
  • Stress

Ashwagandha has such versatile effects because it’s an adaptogen. In other words, it helps to modulate stress responses within your brain and body.

Ginkgo Biloba

The living fossil known as Ginkgo Biloba is a powerful antioxidant known to fight against free radicals. ⁸ Through these effects, it also helps to promote blood circulation throughout the brain and body. ⁹

While this effect has been looked into more for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), one study found it provided refugees and war survivors with a significant reduction in PTSD symptoms. ¹⁰

Herb Pharm Ginkgo Tincture

Herb Pharm Ginkgo Tincture

When it comes to Ginkgo Biloba, we recommend a tincture as it provides you with the most bioavailability. The best Ginkgo tincture we can recommend is from Herb Pharm!


  • Comes in 1oz or 4 oz
  • Includes 140mg per dose
  • Very affordable product
  • Subscription service available

Final Word

Treating PTSD attacks isn’t easy. In fact, it’s going to take a lot of effort on your end to overcome these symptoms. However, it is possible and, with the right help, you can go onto live a fulfilling life.

As discussed, the first step is identifying triggers. From there, you’ll want to talk to a therapist about the best ways for you to address these triggers. Finally, certain medications and herbal alternatives may help in decreasing overall symptoms.

Still, if you plan on taking any medication for PTSD attacks, you must ensure you consult a doctor beforehand.

Your Questions

Still have questions about the signs of a PTSD attack?

We invite you to ask them in the comments section below. If you have any further knowledge to share – whether personal or professional – we’d also love to hear from you.

Reference Sources

¹ National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

² National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms

³ frontiers in Psychology: Anxiety, Stress-Related Factors, and Blood Pressure in Young Adults

⁴ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Systematic Review Update

⁵ AIMS Neuroscience: Cannabis in the management of PTSD: a systematic review

⁶ Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series

⁷ AJTCAM: An Overview on Ashwagandha

⁸ Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin: The effect of ginkgo biloba extract on free radical production in hypoxic rats

⁹ Angewandte Chemie: Chemistry and biology of terpene trilactones from Ginkgo biloba

¹⁰ Proceedings of Singapore Healthcare: The effect of Ginkgo biloba and psycho-education on stress, anxiety and fatigue among refugees

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