Interior Ceiling Structural Problem

This could be some serious structural damage and should be addressed as soon as possible. When ever you run across a situation like this while doing your home inspection, you should use caution, walking around in the attic.

There could be more damage, creating a safety problem, walking on the ceiling joist or attic access area.

If this area is accessible, above the drywall, there's a good chance you will find some sort of problem here. The problem could be termite damage, wood rot or a structural framing issue.

The way that the interior ceiling has caved in around the post is a clear sign, that there has been movement in the ceiling framing.

It's hard to tell what caused this damage, from looking at it from below. You will have a better chance at discovering the problem if you have access above.

If there is no access above, someone will have to remove a section of the ceiling drywall, to examine the area and determined what the problem actually is.