There is a fine line that distinguishes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While PTSD follows a specific traumatic event that a patient was either directly involved in or has witnessed, Complex PTSD involves going through a prolonged traumatic event or situation.
Complex PTSD Symptoms pose a deeper penetration into the patient’s psychological and emotional make-up, often resulting from prolonged captivity or prolonged trauma.
Mental health professionals and researchers came into conclusion that PTSD symptoms do not properly address deeper and more complicated psychological effects resulting from chronic exposure to traumatic events or situations.
What are the Causes of Complex PTSD?
Complex PTSD could be the result of chronic traumatic experiences that the patient may have undergone since childhood. Abuse from parents physically and verbally since childhood can wreak havoc on the child’s psychological make-up which may manifest in later years, often in their adult life.
Prolonged captivity may also display Complex PTSD symptoms. Captivity in this nature includes concentration camps, Prisoner of War, white slavery, sexually abusive relationships, child molestation and domestic violence.
These situations affect the patient’s mental health that may manifest in extreme measures either immediately or in later years. Once the effects are not addressed and they are given the room to worsen, one of the worst things that could happen is that the patients will detach themselves from life in general.
Complex PTSD Symptoms
To understand if a patient is suffering from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, check if he or she is exhibiting these symptoms:
• Inability to control emotions, often resulting in extreme melancholy where patient is harboring thoughts of committing suicide. This also includes sudden bursts of anger or keeping anger bottled-up inside.
• Detachment from normal mental management where the conscious mind blocks out certain traumatic situations or constantly plays-out traumatic events.
• Low self-esteem as well as an altered perception of one’s self. Often as a result of prolonged trauma, the patient will have negative feelings towards themselves, blaming themselves for the situation and feeling a strong sense of shame.
• Changes in personal relationships. This includes familial, romantic and work relationships.
• Preoccupation with the person or persons who made the traumatic event or situation possible. This preoccupation may include being concentrated on seeking revenge against the people responsible for the traumatic situation.
• Substance or alcohol abuse. With the patient’s desire to block-out the traumatic event or their desire to feel good, they may turn to substance or alcohol to give them temporary relief.
• The patients withdraw from people and want to isolate themselves from people, especially from their loved ones.