What is Complex PTSD?
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a psychological condition that can develop after experiencing chronic or repeated trauma, such as prolonged physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or captivity. C-PTSD is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in that it involves symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors, but it also includes additional symptoms such as difficulties with emotion regulation, interpersonal relationships, and a distorted self-image.
Some of the symptoms of C-PTSD include: 1. Re-experiencing traumatic events: Flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and feelings of distress or physiological reactivity when reminded of the traumatic events. 2. Avoidance behaviors: Avoiding people, places, or things that remind you of the traumatic events. 3. Hypervigilance: Feeling constantly on guard, easily startled, and having difficulty relaxing. 4. Emotional dysregulation: Difficulty regulating emotions, experiencing intense emotions, mood swings, and difficulty controlling anger or impulsivity. 5. Negative self-image: People with C-PTSD may have a negative self-image and feel shame, guilt, or worthlessness as a result of their experiences. 6. Difficulties with relationships: People with C-PTSD may have difficulty forming and maintaining relationships due to trust issues, fear of abandonment, or difficulties with intimacy.
The road to healing CPTSD can be a challenging one, and one that requires time and patience. I often tell my clients to look at it as a marathon versus a sprint, to make CPTSD recovery included in their lifestyle. It is important to not expect perfection and quick fixes, and to understand that recovery is not linear. Look for the small daily wins because they add up over time.
Stay tuned for more discussions on CPTSD.