Are you suffering from complex PTSD? Complex post-traumatic stress disorder or C-PTSD, is a serious mental illness that can make you feel distrustful and difficult to manage your emotions.
It is characterized by symptoms of PTSD along with other additional symptoms. However, C-PTSD is a developmental trauma disorder (DTD) which is separate from PTSD. Here we are going to take a closer look at this disorder and find out if you are suffering from Complex PTSD.
What is Complex PTSD?
Most of us are familiar with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. Recognized in 1980, PTSD is a trauma and stressor-related mental disorder that affects survivors of traumatic events like traffic accidents, warfare, natural disasters or sexual assault. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder or Complex PTSD is a separate, yet closely related, psychological disorder that results from repeated trauma over a period of time, instead of a single event.
Identified in 1994, Complex PTSD is a severe and devastating condition that can develop due to prolonged, repetitive trauma, mostly experienced during childhood, adolescence or young adulthood. People who have lived through months or years of emotional neglect, bullying, domestic violence, disrupted attachment, humiliation or child abuse are more likely to develop this condition. The long-term effects can not only affect your thoughts and emotions, but it can also drastically impact your mood, behavior, personality, identity, relationships, and the quality of your life.
It is believed over 8% of people in the United States experiencing the symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Complex PTSD is often a result of chronic psychological, physical and sexual abuse or neglect during childhood. Repeated domestic violence, bullying in school or workplace can lead to this condition. Experiences related to kidnapping, captivity, slavery, servitude, prisoners of war, residential schooling or even cults, with little or no opportunity to escape may also contribute to the development Complex PTSD. Undiagnosed sufferers may feel scared, helpless, worthless, shame or guilt and have a distorted view of their own identity.
Signs of Complex PTSD
Are you experiencing the symptoms of Complex PTSD?
The truth is, you may be affected by this damaging psychological condition and you might not even know it. Some of us may realize that we are not well, but most of the time we brush it off as anxiety or stress, and hence the condition often goes undiagnosed. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of Complex PTSD will help us to identify the disorder and enable us to seek the right treatment.
Here are a few common symptoms of Complex PTSD that you need to look out for:
1. You don’t feel safe
Hyperarousal and being on constant alert is one of the most primary symptoms. You always feel hypervigilant and think that something bad is about to happen to you. You have a strong inner feeling that everything will suddenly turn upside down and your life will be ruined. Although you may not worry about being assassinated, you may feel that everything you value in life may be taken away from you. Even though your loved ones may try to reason with you, confusion will dominate your mind when you suffer from Complex PTSD.
2. You lack emotional regulation
Due to your condition, you are unable to manage your emotions leading to uncontrollable feelings. Your constant inability to regulate emotions makes you more vulnerable to negative emotions like anger, fear, persistent sadness and depression. This may also result in disruptive behaviors and make you respond inappropriately in a given situation.
3. You are unable to relax
Due to all the prolonged trauma, anxiety and stress, you can never seem to relax. You always feel stressed or tense. You don’t trust people enough to let them get intimate or close with you. Although you may realize that you desperately need to relax, practicing relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga seem revolting and sickening.
As our gut health and mental health are interconnected, you may also experience frequent stomach problems due to high levels of anxiety.