Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and avoidance of anything that might trigger memories of the trauma.
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a type of PTSD that can occur when someone experiences chronic or long-term trauma, such as child abuse, domestic violence, or being held captive. C-PTSD often leads to symptoms that are more severe and longer-lasting than those of PTSD.
Treatment for C-PTSD generally includes both medication and talk therapy. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil), are commonly prescribed to help reduce the symptoms of C-PTSD. In addition, talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), can be helpful in reducing the symptoms of C-PTSD. Often, a combination of medication and talk therapy is most effective in treating C-PTSD.
It is important to seek treatment for C-PTSD as soon as possible. The sooner you begin treatment, the better your chances are of reducing the symptoms of C-PTSD and living a healthy and productive life. If you think you might be suffering from C-PTSD, please see your doctor or mental health professional for an evaluation.
What Are the Symptoms of Complex PTSD?
C-PTSD symptoms can fall into four main categories:
- Alterations in self-perception
- Alterations in perception of the abuser
- Alterations in relations with others
- Alterations in systems of meaning
You might experience some or all of these symptoms after going through long-term trauma. These symptoms can make it hard for you to cope with day-to-day life and may even make it hard for you to remember what happened during the traumatic event. Here are some more specific symptoms that you might experience:
- Feeling hopeless about the future
- Having trouble maintaining healthy relationships
- Being easily startled or angered
- Disassociating from your surroundings
- Abusing drugs or alcohol as a way to numb yourself from the pain
- Experiencing chronic physical pain
- Suffering from eating disorders or self-harming behaviors
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in treating C-PTSD. They can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and treat underlying issues that may be exacerbating your symptoms. C-PTSD is a complex condition that requires specialized treatment. Don’t try to go it alone—reach out for help today.
Treating Complex PTSD
There are many different ways that mental health professionals can treat C-PTSD. The most important part of treatment is creating a safe, supportive environment where you feel comfortable talking about your experiences and working through difficult emotions. Treatment may also involve medication, eye movement therapy, and exposure therapy. Some people also find alternative therapies, such as yoga or acupuncture, helpful in managing their symptoms. Again, it’s important to work with a professional who understands C-PTSD in order to create a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a condition that can occur after someone experiences chronic or long-term trauma. Symptoms of C-PTSD can be more severe and longer lasting than those of regular PTSD. If you think you might have C-PTSD, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment for C-PTSD generally includes both medication and talk therapy. If you think you might be suffering from C-PTSD, please see your doctor or mental health professional for an evaluation.