4. You have trouble sleeping
As you are constantly in a state of hypervigilance and hyperarousal, you have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. You may also find it difficult to wake up early in the morning. As you don’t get enough rest and sleep, it further affects your thoughts, emotions, moods and physical health.
5. You avoid trigger situations
You constantly avoid situations that may remind you of the traumatic event. The experience was so damaging and destructive that now you may avoid situations that may be remotely associated with it , such as large crowds, a particular scent, a specific type of activity like driving or anything that can remind you of the past trauma. Encountering such situations can lead to anxiety, panic and other inappropriate reactions. For some, this avoidance behavior can be so intense that it can prevent them from leaving their homes due to fear of a panic attack.
6. You have a strong negative self-perception
Years or months of chronic trauma and stress can dramatically lower your self-esteem, leading to intense feelings of shame, guilt and self-doubt. Due to your appalling self-image, you constantly criticize and hate yourself. You feel disgusted by your own self, believing that you are the most repulsive, ugly, predatory and awful human being. This can even affect your sexuality and make you feel sickening.
7. You are attracted to people who are emotionally unavailable
You have an unhealthy attachment style that makes you gravitate towards highly unavailable individuals. Although you may seem to despise needy & ‘desperate’ people, you always fall for people who are disengaged, avoidant and uninterested. You may even feel drawn to narcissistic people who are suffering from their own emotional and psychological issues. This makes you overlook and even push away people who are present for you.
Read also: Can We Inherit Trauma Genetically?
8. You may feel detached from the trauma
Complex PTSD can result in an altered state of consciousness. Temporary changes in your consciousness can significantly alter your rational functioning, making you forget crucial events. You may feel detached from your memories, thoughts, emotions or sense of identity. You may even forget your trauma. This is known as dissociation.
9. You have serious anger issues
You have a really bad temper and lack control over your anger. Although this anger is mostly directed at your own self, you may often lash out at others without any justifiable reason or provocation. But this anger is only a manifestation of the fear, trauma and anxiety you hold inside you. You are constantly worried about your life becoming terrible once again and you feel helpless.
10. You are exceptionally paranoid
You constantly feel threatened by others and worry that others will humiliate or insult you at every opportunity. You have an inner belief that people will always act against you even though there is no reason for it. You are highly anxious about going on social media as it is mostly a toxic and unkind environment. Sadly, you believe the real world also works as meanly and arbitrarily. Paranoia has led to an unrealistic distrust of people in general.
11. You have difficulty with relationships
Relationships are never easy for you. Due to your distrust of people, you find it hard to get intimate with anyone. You lack confidence while interacting with others which makes you avoid relationships altogether. However, some people with complex PTSD may look for developing relationships with toxic, abusive, and narcissistic people as this is what they are familiar with.
Read also: PTSD. From Surviving to Thriving
12. You love being alone most of the time
Your love for spending time alone is motivated by your fear of other people. Instead of enjoying your own company, your preference for being alone is a reflection of your distorted belief that people are hostile and dangerous. This can make you aloof, isolated and reclusive leading to further mental health issues.