Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD)

Complex PTSD, or complex post-traumatic stress disorder, is a psychological condition that develops after experiencing repeated or prolonged traumatic events, such as childhood abuse, domestic violence, or being a prisoner of war. It is different from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because it is caused by ongoing traumatic experiences rather than a single traumatic event.

People with complex PTSD may experience a wide range of symptoms that can affect their emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being. These symptoms may include:

1. Emotional dysregulation: People with complex PTSD often have difficulty regulating their emotions. They may experience intense anger, sadness, or fear, and have difficulty managing these emotions or expressing them appropriately.

2. Negative self-perception: Individuals may have a negative and distorted view of themselves, believing that they are fundamentally flawed or worthless. They may also have a diminished sense of self-esteem or self-worth.

3. Distorted perception of the perpetrator: People with complex PTSD may have an altered perception of the person or people who caused their trauma. They may idolize or idealize the perpetrator, blame themselves for the abuse, or have difficulty recognizing the harm that was done to them.

4. Interpersonal difficulties: Individuals with complex PTSD may have difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships. They may struggle with trust, intimacy, and establishing boundaries with others.

5. Dissociation: Dissociation is a common symptom of complex PTSD and involves a disconnection from oneself or the surrounding environment. Individuals may feel detached from their emotions, body, or memories as a way to cope with overwhelming experiences.

6. Hyperarousal and hypervigilance: People with complex PTSD may be constantly on edge, feeling anxious, irritable, or jumpy. They may have difficulty relaxing or sleeping due to a heightened state of alertness.

Treatment for complex PTSD often involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and support from loved ones. Therapy approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are commonly used to help individuals process and cope with the traumatic experiences. It is important to seek professional help if you or someone you know may be experiencing complex PTSD, as proper treatment can significantly improve quality of life.