15 PTSD Signs & Symptoms | Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Hypervigilance

This symptom is closely related to the recurrence of negative thoughts and emotions because a hypervigilant patient is always fixated in seeking negative things about their environment to feed their negative thoughts, fears, and negative feelings. It is an unhealthy way to be on guard and protect themselves from another episode similar to the traumatic moment the individual experienced. Hypervigilance is an exaggerated state of alert to perceive all possible sources of danger and be on guard at all times.

Hypervigilance is associated with something called hyperarousal, which is an exaggerated reaction to anything perceived as dangerous or threatening. It is one of the central features of this psychiatric condition, and it is common in many other disorders, including panic disorder and several anxiety and personality disorders. These patients become obsessive about their surroundings and are always looking for escape routes and scanning everything and everyone for threats. Keep in mind that hypervigilance might be a positive and useful strategy when you’re in a positively dangerous situation, but chronic cases of hypervigilance and hyperarousal should be examined by a professional.

PTSD Symptoms