If you have recently been diagnosed with Complex PTSD (often termed C-PTSD) or you have heard of the condition and are curious if you might fit the bill, you may be wondering what this mental health condition entails. There is a lot to C-PTSD and sometimes it can be a confusing term for people to wrap their heads around. This is especially true because people often confuse C-PTSD with regular PTSD. Get to know some of the facts about C-PTSD and how you can get help if you do believe you have this condition. Then, you can be sure you are doing everything you can for your mental health going forward.
Complex PTSD Comes from Prolonged or Repeated Trauma
One of the major differences between C-PTSD and regular PTSD is the type of trauma involved. PTSD can come from a single traumatic event like a natural disaster or a car crash or an incident in a war zone for veterans. PTSD can involve more than one traumatic event but does can also be just the one.
Alternatively, C-PTSD always comes from prolonged or repeated traumas. Most people diagnosed with the condition, for example, have had traumatic, abusive childhoods or have been in a long-term abusive relationship. The traumas generally span several years in duration or occurrence.
Complex PTSD Has Many Symptoms
There are many symptoms of C-PTSD to consider. Most are similar to or the same as PTSD like flashbacks, nightmares, distrust of people and the world. anxiety, and avoiding places or people that remind them of the trauma.
Additional symptoms of C-PTSD that most people with standard PTSD do not have include persistent negative self-regard or view, trouble regulating emotions, dissociation, problems with new relationships (both romantic and otherwise), and even obsessions with the abuser or getting back at them for what they did to the individual.
Not everyone with C-PTSD will have all of these symptoms but will have some combination of several of them.
There Is Hope for C-PTSD
Do not worry if you believe you have C-PTSD or have officially been diagnosed by a doctor or therapist. There is hope and treatment is available. Counseling is the primary form of treatment for C-PTSD.
Your counselor will work with you in a variety of ways to help you process and overcome your traumas. Talk therapy or counseling is, of course, one option which will allow you to get your feelings and thoughts off your chest and to vent and release things you have had pent up for years.
There are also specific trauma-related treatments like cognitive-behavioral counseling and others that can help you rebuild your sense of self and rewire the brain's negative thought patterns. You and your counselor will work together to determine which types of counseling you need at any given time in the counseling process. Most likely, you will use a combination of modalities to help you heal from your trauma.
Now that you know more about C-PTSD, you can be sure to reach out to a counselor if you have been diagnosed or believe you may have this condition.