Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that develops in response to traumatic life events. Complex PTSD is characterized by three main symptom clusters following trauma, as well as long-lasting disruptions in how one handles emotions, perceives themselves, and interacts with others.

The ICD-11 now includes a new diagnosis for complex PTSD. Individuals with complex PTSD have typically experienced prolonged or repeated trauma, such as childhood abuse or ongoing violence. It affects 1-8% of the general population and can be as high as 50% in mental health Facilities.

The main difference between PTSD and CPTSD is the duration of the trauma and the resulting symptoms. Previously, it was thought that PTSD only resulted from short-term stressors like accidents or natural disasters. However, research has shown that those experiencing long-term repetitive stress is more likely to have symptoms beyond PTSD. Both CPTSD and PTSD are characterized by psychological and behavioral stress reactions like flashbacks, hypervigilance, and avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event(s).

It has been seen that people with CPTSD are also found to have additional symptoms, including chronic and extensive issues with emotion regulation, identity and sense of self, and Relationships. Additional symptoms common to people with CPTSD include long-term, severe problems with identity and sense of self, relationships, and emotion control. The majority of the hallmark symptoms of PTSD, including avoidance, hypervigilance, flashbacks, and enduring z, unpleasant thoughts and feelings, are included in complex PTSD, according to the ICD-11.

Further symptoms include increased sensitivity to negative emotional cues, a pervasive negative self-perception and significant challenges in establishing and sustaining meaningful relationships. Extended or recurrent exposure to highly threatening, frequently impossible-to-evade traumatic situations can lead to complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Such traumatic events can include long-term domestic abuse, physical or sexual abuse suffered as a kid, torture, genocide, or enslavement.

Traumatic stress can cause lasting changes in brain chemistry and structure, affecting critical parts of the brain responsible for fear processing, learning, memory, and executive functions. Studies suggest that brain changes are more severe in individuals with CPTSD compared to those with PTSD alone.

Seeking treatment for persistent trauma can be tough but is necessary. Therapy specifically for Complex PTSD is important, as it offers hope for recovery over time. Remember, support and assistance is available to help you through the healing process.

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