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  • Writer's pictureBrain Botanics

Understanding Complex PTSD: Common Symptoms and Signs You Need to Know

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a type of PTSD that occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to traumatic events. Unlike PTSD, which is typically caused by a single traumatic event, C-PTSD often results from repeated exposure to trauma over a period of months or years. In this blog post, we'll discuss the common signs and symptoms of C-PTSD and how it differs from PTSD.

Emotional dysregulation

One of the most common symptoms of C-PTSD is emotional dysregulation, which refers to difficulty managing or controlling emotions. This can manifest as frequent mood swings, difficulty managing anger, or feeling overwhelmed by intense emotions.


Dissociation is another common symptom of C-PTSD, which is a defense mechanism that involves disconnecting from one's surroundings or emotions. This can manifest as feeling detached from one's body or feeling like one is in a dream-like state.

Chronic feelings of shame and guilt

Individuals with C-PTSD may experience chronic feelings of shame and guilt, even when they are not at fault. This can be related to the trauma they experienced and can make it difficult for them to feel good about themselves.

Negative self-image

C-PTSD can also lead to a negative self-image, as individuals may blame themselves for the trauma they experienced or feel like they are somehow defective or unworthy.


Hyperarousal is a state of heightened alertness and can be a symptom of both PTSD and C-PTSD. Individuals with C-PTSD may feel constantly on edge or easily startled.


Avoidance is another common symptom of C-PTSD, which involves avoiding triggers or situations that may be associated with the trauma. This can lead to social isolation and difficulty forming close relationships.

Difficulty regulating relationships

Individuals with C-PTSD may struggle to form and maintain healthy relationships due to emotional dysregulation, negative self-image, and difficulty trusting others.

In conclusion, C-PTSD is a complex condition that can be caused by prolonged exposure to trauma. The symptoms can be debilitating and can impact various areas of an individual's life, including emotional regulation, relationships, and self-esteem. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it's important to seek professional help from a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are struggling with any of these issues, and trying to manage them on your own to no avail, consider reaching out by booking a free consultation call with the link below. Expert help is only a click away, to help you feel back in control again.

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