One Fact a Day

June 25 Fact



In recent years, mental health professionals have identified another type of post-traumatic stress called “Complex PTSD” or “C-PTSD.” While PTSD occurs after a trauma, C-PTSD occurs after chronic or repeated traumas.

Traumas that can result in PTSD include car accidents, violent attacks, natural disasters, sudden loss of a loved one, and many more examples of sudden, life-threatening or life-altering events.

C-PTSD, on the other hand, develops in individuals who have experienced multiple traumas over an extended period of time. These traumas include sexual and physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence, torture, neglect, being bullied, and many other types of abuse that perpetrators inflict again and again, sometimes for many years. Children are especially vulnerable to C-PTSD because if they live in an abusive home, they generally must endure the trauma until they’re old enough to live on their own. That can be 16-18 years.

The symptoms of C-PTSD are very similar to those of PTSD. For both disorders, individuals must learn new and healthy ways of thinking, feeling, and living if they want to move toward healing.

As it is with PTSD, C-PTSD is caused by an outside force. It has nothing to do with any weakness on the sufferer’s part. The sufferers had no choice in the matter and are not at fault in any way for PTSD or C-PTSD developing in their lives.

Personally, I wasn’t aware of C-PTSD when I was diagnosed with PTSD. Looking back, I believe C-PTSD is a better fit for me. I endured several types of abuse from infancy into adulthood.

Just as with PTSD, you can take back control over your life after you’ve learned new and healthy strategies for surviving, thriving, and finding hope.


If you’ve experienced trauma, which disorder best describes what you’ve been through?