People who’ve witnessed or been involved in life-changing or traumatic events may be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms usually occur soon after the event, but some people might not experience symptoms for months or years later.

In general, there are three types of PTSD symptoms: re-experiencing the incident through nightmares and flashbacks; hyper-arousal and feeling jumpy, irritated, and unable to sleep; and emotional avoidance.

Emotional avoidance and PTSDWhat Are the Signs of Emotional Avoidance?

People who survive a traumatic experience often engage in behaviors that help them deal with difficult memories about the experience, as well as the emotions that accompany them. If a person feels overwhelmed or unable to cope, emotional avoidance can keep bad feelings away. Emotional avoidance behaviors include:

  • Self-medicating with alcohol and other drugs
  • Avoiding places and activities that cause you to re-experience the event
  • An inability to feel love
  • An inability to recall critical elements of the traumatic incident
  • Feeling a decreased interest in your family and friends
  • Feeling disassociated or disconnected from people you care about
  • Avoiding conversations, thoughts, or feelings associated with the traumatic incident
  • Avoiding interaction with people who remind you of the event
  • Experiencing decreased expectations for your future and inability to see a future, marriage, or children

Other people may use tension-reducing behaviors to cope with their PTSD. Veterans who want to avoid overwhelming and painful emotions about life-altering events may choose a strategy that helps reduce the level of tension or stress they feel. Tension-reducing behaviors include:

  • Binge eating
  • Engaging in dangerous sexual behavior
  • Engaging in self-harm, such as cutting
  • Allowing thoughts of suicide
  • Spending a great deal of money

With time and professional guidance, a veteran who exhibits these types of behaviors can learn better self-care management and strategies.

Cuddigan Law Can Help With Your PTSD Claim

If you’re a veteran diagnosed with PTSD, you may be eligible for financial support from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. If you need help service-connecting your mental health condition and want to file for disability benefits or appeal a denial, reach out to Cuddigan Law by filling our our online contact form or calling 402-933-5405.

Our attorneys have supported veterans for years, and we’ll carefully examine your case for free and advise you on the best approach for receiving the maximum in disability benefits. 


Sean D. Cuddigan
Connect with me
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska