01 July 2023

What is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

 Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) Awareness, Research and Resources

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, back problems, stomach distress, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, obesity or maybe even hypertension can be caused by suppressing your emotions. Suppressed anger may also cause you to overreact to people and situations or to act inappropriately. Unexpressed anger can cause you to become irritable, irrational, and prone to emotional outbursts and episodes of depression.” ― Beverly Engel

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research

What is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
"Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a psychological condition that can develop in individuals who have experienced prolonged and repeated trauma, typically in the context of interpersonal relationships. While it shares some similarities with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), C-PTSD is characterized by a broader range of symptoms and tends to be more chronic in nature.

C-PTSD often arises from traumatic experiences that occur in situations where the person feels trapped, helpless, or lacks a support system. These experiences may include ongoing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, captivity, or being subjected to coercive control. Individuals who have endured these types of traumas may develop a distorted self-image, a pervasive sense of shame or guilt, and difficulties in regulating their emotions.

The symptoms of C-PTSD can be grouped into four main clusters:

1. Emotional dysregulation: This includes symptoms such as intense anger, sadness, or irritability, difficulty managing or expressing emotions, emotional numbness, and feeling constantly on edge or hypervigilant.

2. Negative self-concept: Individuals with C-PTSD may have a persistent sense of worthlessness, shame, or guilt. They may also experience feelings of emptiness, a distorted self-image, or a belief that they are fundamentally flawed.

3. Interpersonal difficulties: People with C-PTSD may struggle with forming and maintaining healthy relationships. They may have trust issues, difficulty setting boundaries, problems with intimacy, and a tendency to enter abusive or unhealthy relationships.

4. Distorted perception of the perpetrator: This cluster includes symptoms such as preoccupation with the abuser, feelings of revenge or wanting to confront the abuser, and distorted beliefs about the abuser's power and influence.

Other symptoms commonly associated with C-PTSD include dissociation (feeling disconnected from oneself or the world), difficulties with attention and concentration, sleep disturbances, somatic symptoms, and a heightened sensitivity to potential threats.

Treatment for C-PTSD often involves a combination of therapies, such as trauma-focused therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). The goal is to help individuals process and integrate their traumatic experiences, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and improve overall functioning and well-being. Medication may also be prescribed to manage specific symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, or sleep disturbances.

It's important to note that I am an AI language model, and while I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it's always recommended to consult with a qualified mental health professional or therapist for a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of any mental health condition." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

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