deal with C-PTSD
- General

How to deal with C-PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) are closely related (PTSD). But rather than being brought on by a single event, it frequently develops as a result of recurrent stress over months or years.

The majority of people are aware of PTSD, an anxiety illness brought on by a stressful incident like a natural catastrophe or auto accident. However, a related illness known as CPTSD is now more commonly with some additional symptoms.


  • Reliving the traumatic experience

This includes nightmare and flashbacks

  • Avoiding some situation

  You might steer clear of settings or behaviours that trigger memories of the traumatic experience, such as crowded places or driving. Keeping oneself busy is another way to stop reflecting about the incident.

  • Change in beliefs and feeling about yourself and other

       This could involve staying away from other people, lacking faith in people, or          thinking the world is highly hazardous.

  • Hyperarousal

                    Hyperarousal is the term for a state of continual alertness or jitteriness. You could struggle to focus or fall asleep, for instance. Additionally, particularly loud or unexpected noises could frighten you.

  • Somatic symptoms

                 These describe bodily symptoms that don’t have a corresponding medical condition. For instance, you can have nausea or vertigo when something triggers memories of the traumatic event.

  • Lack of emotional regulations

                Uncontrollable emotions are referred to here, such as sudden rage or persistent melancholy.

  • Changes in consciousness

Uncontrollable emotions are referred to here, such as sudden rage or persistent melancholy.

  • Negative self-perception

                    It’s possible that you experience guilt or shame to the extent that it makes you feel totally unlike other people.

  • Difficulty in relationships

Because of mistrust or a sense of social awkwardness, you can find yourself avoiding relationships with other people. However, some people could look for relationships with those that hurt them because it feels comfortable.

  • Distorted perception of abuser

. This includes becoming caught up in your relationship with your abuser. Retaliation or giving your abuser total control over your life are further examples of it.

  • Loss of system in meaning

Systems of meaning are based on your religion or worldview. You might, for instance, lose trust in certain long-held convictions you once held or experience a profound sense of pessimism or despair about the world.  It’s crucial to remember that PTSD and CPTSD symptoms can differ significantly between individuals and even within one individual over time. For instance, you might discover that after avoiding social events for a while, you start looking for potentially risky situations months or years later.


Trauma effect on brain areas, the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and amygdala can all be permanently altered by trauma. These regions have a significant impact on how well our memories work as well as how we react under pressure. Any kind of prolonged trauma that lasts for months or years might cause CPTSD. However, it seems to be more prevalent among those who have experienced abuse at the hands of a caretaker or protector. Examples include victims of persistent family sexual abuse as a child or survivors of human trafficking.

Other instances of chronic trauma include:

  • continual sexual,
  • mental, or physical abuse
  • being a prisoner of war and spending a lot of time in a combat zone
  • continuing abuse of children

Risk factor

CPTSD can affect anyone, however some people may be more susceptible to it than others. Other than having previously experienced trauma, risk factors include:

how your brain regulates hormones and neurochemicals, especially in response to stress, inherited personality traits, which are sometimes referred to as temperament, underlying mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, or a family history of it, lifestyle factors, like not having a strong support system or having a dangerous job



Speaking with a therapist in either an individual or group setting constitutes psychotherapy. Additionally, cognitive behavioural therapy is utilised (CBT). This kind of therapy gives you the abilities to recognise your negative thought patterns and replace them with more wholesome, constructive ones. Dialectical behavioural therapy, a form of CBT that aids in improving how you react to stress and forging stronger bonds with others, may also be advised by your doctor.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is frequently used to treat PTSD, and it may also be effective for CPTSD. You’ll be instructed to quickly recall a painful incident while swiping your eyes side to side. As an alternative to shifting your gaze, you may have someone tap on your hands. This method may help you become less sensitive to upsetting thoughts and recollections over time.


Traditional antidepressant medications can also help with CPTSD symptoms. They frequently function best when paired with another type of therapy, such CBT. Antidepressants frequently prescribed for CPTSD include:

fluoxetine, paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft) (Prozac)

While some people benefit from taking these medications for a long time, you might only need to do so while you discover new coping mechanisms.

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