What are The 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD? Complex PTSD Symptoms.

If you’re unfamiliar with the condition, you might be wondering, ‘What are the 17 symptoms of Complex PTSD?


What are The 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD?

Complex PTSD symptoms can vary, but here’s a simplified list of potential symptoms associated with the condition:

  • Emotional Dysregulation: Intense, unpredictable emotions and difficulty managing them.
  • Negative Self-Concept: Persistent feelings of shame, guilt, and worthlessness.
  • Distorted Self-Perception: Altered self-identity or self-concept, feeling flawed or damaged.
  • Interpersonal Difficulties: Challenges forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
  • Chronic Feelings of Emptiness: Ongoing inner void or lack of fulfillment.
  • Flashbacks and Intrusive Memories: Repeatedly re-experiencing traumatic events.
  • Avoidance Behaviors: Efforts to evade reminders of trauma or distressing situations.
  • Hypervigilance: Constant alertness and heightened startle response.
  • Dissociation: Feeling disconnected from oneself, others, or reality.
  • Impaired Trust: Difficulty trusting others due to past betrayals or abuse.
  • Loss of Meaning: Sense of purposelessness or loss of meaning in life.
  • Difficulty Regulating Emotions: Struggles with managing anger, anxiety, or other emotions.
  • Physical Symptoms: Chronic pain, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, or other somatic complaints.
  • Changes in Self-Perception: Feeling different from others, altered worldview.
  • Feeling Stuck: Feeling trapped in patterns of behavior or thought.
  • Impaired Concentration: Difficulty focusing and concentrating.
  • Self-Destructive Behavior: Engaging in self-harm or risky behaviors as a coping mechanism.

Not everyone with complex PTSD will experience all these symptoms, and individuals may have varying combinations and intensities. A qualified mental health professional should determine a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Top Complex PTSD Symptoms (CPTSD)

PTSD symptoms, as well as an additional set of symptoms, are frequently present in CPTSD patients. The top symptoms may include the following:

  • Disturbing thoughts or feelings.
  • Dreams related to the events.
  • Mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues.
  • Attempts to avoid trauma-related alerts.
  • Changes in how a person thinks and feels.
  • Increased fight-or-flight response.
Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD) is a mental health condition characterized by pervasive mistrust, suspicion, and hostility towards others.
In discussions about trauma and mental health, the question often arises: ‘What are the 17 symptoms of Complex PTSD?'”

CPTSD vs PTSD Explained

C-PTSD is a type of PTSD with more intense and long-lasting symptoms. It is often caused by prolonged or repeated trauma, such as abuse, neglect, or multiple traumatic events. When comparing CPTSD vs PTSD, professionals distinguish the heightened level of intense emotions people feel with a CPTSD vs PTSD diagnosis.

People suffering from C-PTSD may have more prolonged symptoms of PTSD, such as intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, and depressed moods. They are also more likely to suffer from chronic physical symptoms such as migraines and to have a history of abuse, neglect, or other trauma-related experiences.

C-PTSD can lead to difficulties in personal functioning, such as difficulty forming relationships or attachments or functioning effectively in everyday life. Sufferers will often experience a sense of being emotionally numb or disconnected from their emotions and experiences. They may also experience difficulty regulating their emotions and will often withdraw into themselves cope. C-PTSD can also lead to guilt and shame, with sufferers feeling like something is wrong with them or that they have done something wrong. Sufferers may also experience fear, anxiety, anger, and irritability.

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PTSD Fact Sheet

What is PTSD? PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop in individuals who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events. These events could be life-threatening, involve serious harm, or result in intense fear, horror, or helplessness.

Symptoms of PTSD: Symptoms can vary and may include:

  • Intrusive memories, flashbacks, or nightmares about the traumatic event.
  • Avoidance of reminders of the trauma.
  • Adverse changes in thoughts and mood, such as persistent negative beliefs or distorted thoughts about oneself or others.
  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions, including heightened arousal, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and exaggerated startle response.

Causes: PTSD can result from various traumatic experiences, including:

  • Combat exposure.
  • Physical or sexual assault.
  • Natural disasters.
  • Serious accidents.
  • Witnessing violence or death.
  • Childhood abuse or neglect.

Importance of Seeking Help: Untreated PTSD can lead to various adverse outcomes, including substance abuse, relationship problems, and reduced quality of life. Seeking professional help can lead to symptom management, improved coping skills, and overall well-being.

Complex Trauma and CPTSD Statistics

Chronic trauma refers to trauma following a series of events (unlike acute trauma, which refers to a single event). These events have happened multiple times, including experiences such as prolonged child abuse, prolonged exposure to war and combat, and repeated sexual abuse. Complex trauma is exposure to varied and multiple traumatic events, often of an invasive, interpersonal nature. Complex trauma refers to experiencing chronic trauma with long-term emotional and physical symptoms.

According to the National Center for PTSD, people with CPTSD are more likely to experience PTSD symptoms for extended periods and symptoms of depression or anxiety. They are also more likely to be hospitalized for mental health issues. Additionally, people with CPTSD are more likely to suffer from chronic physical symptoms such as migraines and to have a history of abuse, neglect, or other trauma-related experiences.


61%

61% of men and 51% of women report at least one traumatic event in their lifetimes.

Source: NIMH

50%

CPTSD affects up to 8% of the population and is up to 50% prevalent among those who receive treatment in mental health facilities.

Source: NIMH

30%

Nearly 30% of incidences of mental disorders were associated with childhood adversities and childhood trauma.

Source: NIMH


C PTSD Symptoms

C-PTSD, or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a condition that can develop after experiencing prolonged and repeated trauma, often in interpersonal relationships or situations where escape is difficult. The symptoms of C-PTSD can be more complex and varied than those of traditional PTSD, which typically arises from a single traumatic event.

Remember that while these symptoms are common in C-PTSD, not everyone will experience all of them, and the severity can vary

Here are some common symptoms associated with C-PTSD:

Educating yourself about the impact of complex trauma might lead you to inquire, 'What are the 17 symptoms of Complex PTSD?'
Educating yourself about the impact of complex trauma might lead you to inquire, ‘What are the 17 symptoms of Complex PTSD?’
  1. Emotional Dysregulation: Individuals with C-PTSD often experience intense and fluctuating emotions. They might have difficulty managing their emotions, which can lead to outbursts of anger, sadness, or irritability.
  2. Negative Self-Concept: People with C-PTSD might have a negative view of themselves, feeling guilty, worthless, or ashamed. They may struggle with low self-esteem and self-blame.
  3. Distorted Self-Perception: C-PTSD can lead to a distorted sense of self, where individuals may perceive themselves as damaged, unlovable, or fundamentally flawed due to their traumatic experiences.
  4. Difficulty Trusting Others: Due to experiences of betrayal or repeated trauma, individuals with C-PTSD may have trouble trusting others, leading to difficulties forming and maintaining relationships.
  5. Changes in Beliefs: C-PTSD can cause a shift in an individual’s belief system, leading to feelings of hopelessness, despair, or a distorted sense of safety in the world.
  6. Detachment and Dissociation: Dissociation is a common symptom of C-PTSD. It involves feeling disconnected from oneself or the world, as if observing from a distance. This can lead to memory gaps or a sense of unreality.
  7. Avoidance Behaviors: People with C-PTSD may avoid situations, people, or places that remind them of the trauma. This can lead to social isolation and interfere with daily activities.
  8. Hyperarousal: Similar to traditional PTSD, individuals with C-PTSD may experience hypervigilance, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and being easily startled.
  9. Difficulty Regulating Emotions: C-PTSD can lead to difficulties in managing and regulating emotions, leading to mood swings and intense emotional reactions.
  10. Interpersonal Problems: Relationships can be challenging for those with C-PTSD due to trust issues, emotional volatility, and difficulty in forming close connections.
  11. Recurrent Traumatic Memories: Individuals with C-PTSD may experience intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks related to their traumatic experiences.
  12. Physical Symptoms: Chronic pain, somatic symptoms, and other physical manifestations of stress can be present in individuals with C-PTSD.
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Complex PTSD Residential Treatment

Residential rehab can be particularly beneficial for individuals with severe or complex symptoms of CPTSD, those who haven’t responded well to outpatient treatments, or those who require a safe and structured environment to work through their trauma. Researching and choosing a reputable residential treatment center with experienced staff knowledgeable about trauma-focused care is essential. As always, seeking guidance from mental health professionals is crucial in determining the most suitable treatment approach.

Residential rehab for CPTSD often includes:

  • Individual Therapy: One-on-one sessions with qualified therapists specializing in trauma-focused therapies.
  • Group Therapy: Participating in group sessions with peers with similar experiences provides a sense of community and shared understanding.
  • Psychoeducation: Learning about the nature of CPTSD, its effects, coping strategies, and tools for managing symptoms.
  • Skill-Building: Developing skills for emotional regulation, stress management, communication, and healthy relationships.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Learning techniques to manage anxiety, ground oneself, and promote emotional well-being.
  • Evidence-Based Therapies: Incorporating art therapy, yoga, meditation, and equine therapy to address trauma from various angles.
  • Medical and Psychiatric Support: Comprehensive medical and psychiatric assessments, medication management if needed, and addressing co-occurring conditions.
  • Nutritional Support: Providing balanced meals and guidance on maintaining a healthy diet to support physical and mental well-being.
  • Aftercare Planning: Develop a personalized aftercare plan to support ongoing recovery and transition back into daily life.

We Level Up FL mental health rehab center treats all behavioral health disorders, including corresponding secondary illnesses, to improve long-term recovery outcomes. Get a free mental health assessment and determine the most suitable treatment options. Call to learn more.

Where Can I Find Support For C-PTSD Symptoms?

Having an under-recognized condition like CPTSD can be isolating. It might be lonely to have a disorder like CPTSD that is not well understood. The National Center for PTSD includes several services, including a PTSD coaching app for your phone if you need additional help. Even though many of these materials are intended for those with PTSD, many of your symptoms might benefit from them. A forum, fact sheets, and book suggestions are just a few of the online services provided by the nonprofit group Out of the Storm for CPTSD sufferers.

Suggested Reads

  • “The Body Keeps Score” is a must-read for anyone recovering from trauma.
  • “The Complex PTSD Workbook” contains exercises and examples designed to empower you to take control of your physical and mental health.
  • “Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving” is an excellent resource for breaking down complex psychological concepts related to trauma. Also, the author has CPTSD and is a certified psychotherapist.

We Level Up FL Complex PTSD Inpatient Treatment

CPTSD is a severe mental health condition that can take some time to treat; for many people, it’s a lifelong condition. However, combining therapy and medication can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

If starting treatment sounds overwhelming, consider joining a support group, first in person or online. The first step in recovery is frequently talking with folks in similar circumstances about your experience. We Level Up Florida mental health treatment center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals to help you cope with complex PTSD episode symptoms. We work as an integrated team providing services and information about every aspect of treatment.

Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our mental health treatment specialists. We can help you explore treatment for complex PTSD symptoms and options. Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.
Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our mental health treatment specialists. We can help you explore treatment for complex PTSD symptoms and options. Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.

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Symptoms of C PTSD

Searching for PTSD treatment near me? Get free answers to your PTSD treatment questions today. Call our hotline 24/7.
Searching for PTSD treatment near me? Get free answers to your PTSD treatment questions today. Call our hotline 24/7.

Complex PTSD Somatic Symptoms

Somatic symptoms of Complex PTSD can include:

  • Chronic pain or body aches.
  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Gastrointestinal issues.
  • Fatigue or low energy.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Muscle tension or stiffness.
  • Heart palpitations or racing heartbeat.
  • Changes in appetite or weight.
  • Sensitivity to sensory stimuli (light, sound, touch).
  • Nausea or dizziness.

These somatic symptoms can arise due to the body’s response to ongoing stress and trauma associated with Complex PTSD.

Severe PTSD Symptoms

Severe PTSD symptoms refer to the intense and debilitating manifestations of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. These symptoms are characterized by their significant impact on an individual’s daily life, emotions, thoughts, and overall well-being. Severe PTSD symptoms can include:

  1. Intense Flashbacks: Individuals may vividly relive the traumatic event as if it were happening again, often causing extreme distress and emotional upheaval.
  2. Distressing Nightmares: Frequent and distressing nightmares related to the trauma can disrupt sleep and exacerbate feelings of fear and helplessness.
  3. Emotional Numbing: Severe symptoms can lead to a sense of emotional detachment and numbness, making it difficult to experience joy, love, or other positive emotions.
  4. Hypervigilance: Individuals might be in a constant state of high alert, always scanning their environment for potential threats. This heightened state of arousal can be exhausting and anxiety-inducing.
  5. Exaggerated Startle Response: A severe startle response can lead to being easily startled by even minor stimuli, contributing to a sense of constant unease.
  6. Avoidance Behavior: Those with severe symptoms often avoid situations, places, or people that trigger memories of the trauma, which can lead to social isolation and withdrawal.
  7. Negative Changes in Thoughts and Mood: A person’s thought patterns and beliefs about themselves, others, and the world can become overwhelmingly negative and pessimistic.
  8. Difficulty Concentrating: Severe symptoms can impair concentration and memory, affecting an individual’s ability to focus on tasks and perform well in work or school.
  9. Physical Symptoms: Chronic pain, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, and other physical symptoms may manifest as a result of the stress and anxiety associated with severe PTSD.
  10. Suicidal Thoughts: In the most severe cases, individuals might experience suicidal ideation due to the overwhelming distress and emotional pain caused by their symptoms.
  11. Impaired Relationships: The impact of severe PTSD symptoms on mood, emotions, and behavior can strain relationships and hinder one’s ability to connect with others.

It’s crucial to recognize that severe PTSD symptoms can be profoundly challenging to manage alone. Seeking professional help from mental health experts, such as therapists or psychiatrists, is essential for proper assessment and effective treatment. With appropriate support, individuals with severe PTSD symptoms can work towards healing and improved well-being.

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How To Find Complex PTSD Treatment Centers Near Me?

To find complex PTSD treatment centers near you, search online using terms like “complex PTSD treatment near me” or “complex PTSD therapist near me,” along with your location. Contact local mental health organizations, clinics, or hospitals to inquire about their services and recommendations for trauma-focused treatment. Ask your primary care physician for referrals or guidance based on your needs. The We Level Up FL mental health treatment center can also help you explore treatment options and mental health resources. Call us today to get started!

During support group sessions, participants frequently bring up the topic of, 'What are the 17 symptoms of Complex PTSD? We Level Up Inpatient rehab provides 24/7 care and support from both medical and therapeutic staff.
During support group sessions, participants frequently bring up the topic of, ‘What are the 17 symptoms of Complex PTSD? We Level Up Inpatient rehab provides 24/7 care and support from both medical and therapeutic staff.

We Level Up FL mental health rehab center treats all behavioral health disorders, including corresponding secondary illnesses, to improve long-term recovery outcomes. Get a free mental health assessment and determine the most suitable treatment options. Call to learn more.

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  1. What are the complex PTSD symptoms in adults?

    The Complex PTSD symptoms in adults are guilt, shame, and worthlessness. It also included issues with emotion regulation, difficulty connecting with others, and relational problems, such as difficulty maintaining friendships and relationships.

  2. Are complex PTSD dissociation symptoms typical?

    Not all people with complex PTSD have dissociative symptoms. But others who do could feel disassociated from their environment, behavior, and body. They might have lapses in recalling the initial trauma or even a typical, ordinary routine.

  3. What is the complex PTSD from narcissistic abuse symptoms?

    Narcissistic complex PTSD is a symptom that can develop in individuals who have experienced prolonged and severe narcissistic abuse. These symptoms may include a fragmented sense of self, pervasive shame and worthlessness, difficulty trusting others, and intense emotional reactivity.

  4. How to find the best complex PTSD treatment centers?

    To find the best complex PTSD treatment centers, research reputable mental health institutions or rehabs specializing in trauma and complex PTSD. Look for centers with experienced and licensed therapists knowledgeable about trauma-focused therapies such as EMDR, DBT, or prolonged exposure therapy. Moreover, read reviews, seek referrals from mental health professionals, and consider contacting the centers directly to inquire about their treatment approaches and success rates before deciding.

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We at We Level Up FL are dedicated to personalized mental health services tailored to each person’s unique needs. Our experienced team collaborates closely with clients to create therapy programs that address their challenges and align with their goals. With empathy and support, we empower individuals to take an active role in their mental health journey by providing tools and strategies. We encourage exploration, self-discovery, and growth in a safe and nurturing environment. We understand that everyone is different, so we listen attentively and develop customized therapy plans based on individual concerns, strengths, and aspirations.

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Sources

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[2] Nestgaard Rød Å, Schmidt C. Complex PTSD: what is the clinical utility of the diagnosis? Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2021 Dec 9;12(1):2002028. Doi 10.1080/20008198.2021.2002028. PMID: 34912502; PMCID: PMC8667899. What Are the 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD

[3] Complex PTSD – PTSD: National Center for PTSD (.gov) Learn More: What Are the 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD

[4] Complex PTSD Patients https://www.science.gov/topicpages/c/complex+ptsd+patients.html Learn More: What Are the 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD

[5] Complex Trauma – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Learn More: What Are the 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD

[6] Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder/Disorders of Extreme Stress (CP/DES) in Sexually Abused Children: An Exploratory Study – Office of Justice Programs (.gov) Learn More: What Are the 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD

[7] COMPLEX TRAUMA, COMPLEX REACTIONS – https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dsamh/files/si10_1396_article1.pdf Learn More: What Are the 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD

[8] Mann SK, Marwaha R. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. [Updated 2023 Jan 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559129/ Learn More: What Are the 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD

[9] Miao XR, Chen QB, Wei K, Tao KM, Lu ZJ. Posttraumatic stress disorder: from diagnosis to prevention. Mil Med Res. 2018 Sep 28;5(1):32. Doi 10.1186/s40779-018-0179-0. PMID: 30261912; PMCID: PMC6161419. Learn More: What Are the 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD

[10] Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Learn More: What Are the 17 Symptoms of Complex PTSD