Complex post-traumatic stress disorder

Invisible Injuries – Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

What we often call “psychological trauma” actually broadly includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (Complex PTSD, C-PTSD). Post-traumatic stress disorder, which many people have heard of, is actually caused by a single, sudden, major event. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological trauma caused by a series of harmful events. This article will introduce the causes of complex post-traumatic stress disorder and how it differs from post-traumatic stress disorder.

What is complex post-traumatic stress disorder

The term post-traumatic stress disorder began to be used around the 1970s, while complex post-traumatic stress disorder was only proposed in recent years. Although many psychotherapists have long known about the existence of complex post-traumatic stress disorder, it was not until last year, after the publication of the International Classification of Diseases, Eleventh Edition (ICD-11) published by the World Health Organization (WHO), that complex post-traumatic stress disorder Post-traumatic stress disorder just became an officially diagnosed disorder.

Long-term physical and mental damage can cause trauma

It is not just emergencies that leave wounds in the heart. Long-term physical and psychological damage will also leave a shadow. Moreover, sometimes the victim and the perpetrator have an inseparable and difficult-to-break-off relationship. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder may develop. Here are a few possible causes:

  1. Suffering from emotional neglect in childhood, parents did not provide appropriate emotional support.
  2. Any form of abuse or bullying.
  3. Domestic violence, sexual violence.
  4. Human trafficking, slavery.
  5. Became a prisoner of war, imprisoned.
  6. Living in a war zone or somewhere affected by war.

Symptoms of Complex Traumatic Stress Disorder

Before being included in ICD-11, complex post-traumatic stress disorder was often misdiagnosed as a personality disorder. This is because the symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder appear to be similar to personality disorders on the surface, and require doctors to analyze them carefully. Only then can the correct treatment be given. The following are possible symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder:

  1. Avoid any situation that may trigger traumatic memories.
  2. Feeling dizzy and nauseous when recalling the traumatic event.
  3. Loss of trust in yourself or others.
  4. Difficulty falling asleep and concentrating at ordinary times.
  5. There is no faith or spiritual sustenance.

However, post-traumatic stress disorder may also occur with the above symptoms, so doctors have proposed several key symptoms:

  1. Being in a relationship that is difficult or impossible to break away from, suffering from long-term or repeated trauma, or continuous trauma.
  2. Conscious or unconscious reappearance of emotions, repeated experiences of trauma, and even nightmares.
  3. Overcompensating behavior, or overly pleasing others.

If you meet the above symptoms, it means you may be suffering from complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and you must cooperate with appropriate treatment. The purpose of treating complex post-traumatic stress disorder is to stabilize the patient. The therapist should help the patient separate the past trauma from reality. Although complex post-traumatic stress disorder sounds serious, as long as you cooperate with the treatment, there is still a chance to cure it.

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