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What Is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as its name suggests, is an anxiety disorder that can occur secondary to a stressful or traumatic event like a vehicle accident or natural disasters. However, in recent years, a closely related condition called CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) is emerging as a new anxiety disorder which is now widely recognized and diagnosed by doctors worldwide. This disorder is called “complex,” because it involves repeated trauma over months or years, compared to a single traumatic event that causes simple PTSD. What Are The Symptoms? Along with typical PTSD symptoms, people suffering from CPTSD usually have additional symptoms that are specific to CPTSD. One should keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of both PTSD and CPTSD can vary within one person over time or from one person to another.
This symptom is also called “dissociation”. It involves feeling detached from your body or emotions and forgetting the traumatic event. Lack of emotional regulationA CPTSD patient finds it very difficult to control his/her emotions. He or she may have ongoing sadness or explosive anger. Difficulty with relationshipsA patient may have a feeling of not knowing his people, how to interact with them, and finds himself avoiding his close relationships with other people out of mistrust. Alternatively, some patients might seek relationships with strangers or those who tend to harm them. Negative self-perceptionA patient is surrounded by a strong negative self-perception. He may feel guilt and shame and consider himself completely different from other people. Loss of systems of meaningsIt simply refers to one’s beliefs about the world or religion. A CPSTD patient may lose his faith in strong beliefs related to his religion or may develop a strong sense of hopelessness regarding his surroundings and world.
There is still a lot of research work going on to figure out exactly how CPTSD develops. However, several animal studies suggest that any kind of long-term or repeated trauma, over several months or years, can lead to CPTSD. This repeated trauma could be physical, mental or emotional. Examples include;
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