Individuals suffering PTSD display symptoms that look like that of those suffering from trauma symptoms associated with the narcissistic personality (TANS).
This article by Simon (2002) sheds clear light on distinguishing between the 2 types of patients. The table below is an extract from the article:
If we were to extract the gist of the difference between PTSD and TANS, we may be able to summarize that unlike in PTSD, patients with TANS main “damage” is that of the grandiose image of the self. Hence there is more shame and humiliation, which is manifested by anxiety about damage to this grandiose self image. In PTSD the anxiety about survival itself. Because of this the TANS patient is more likely to project their blame and rage at another person or persons.
Knowledge of these differences facilitate the psychotherapeutic treatment of the patients, since both types of patients experience the relationship with the therapist differently.
Simon, R. I. (2002). Distinguishing trauma-associated narcissistic symptoms from posttraumatic stress disorder: A diagnostic challenge. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 10(1), 28-36.