Search Results for: cptsd

How is CPTSD Different from PTSD?

complex PTSD CPTSD

Trauma can take many forms. You may have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most people have at least heard of PTSD, as it relates to veterans. Did you know it impacts many others as well? Have you heard of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD or CPTSD)? People often ask how CPTSD and PTSD are similar and different. I want to help more people have a deeper understanding of what they are experiencing and ultimately get the help they deserve.

My goal, as a trauma-informed therapist, is to raise awareness and treat trauma of all kinds. When I use the word “trauma,” I am incorporating all aspects of trauma, all kinds of trauma that impact the nervous system. Trauma describes the adverse effect of any experiences that felt unsafe, physically, sexually or emotionally, or were perceived as a threat to life or survival. This includes profound emotional neglect and attachment trauma.

People can experience different kinds of symptoms depending on their experience. Trauma can come from a single incident, or from recurring incidents of emotional, physical or sexual trauma. Trauma that develops within an important early relationship, as with a parent or caregiver, can lead to attachment trauma that is complex, developmental and relational and anything in between. Relational, attachment and complex trauma are some of the traumatic variations we see most often at Brickel & Associates.

You may be asking what complex PTSD feels like or wondering if you’re facing PTSD or CPTSD. My goal is to help you see how the two are similar and different,

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Injured, not broken: Why it’s so hard to know you have CPTSD

CPTSD symptoms

When a child experiences neglect, anxiety, or danger repeatedly in a close relationship, that child often grows up with a sense that they are not okay. Psychology has a name for the long-term, consistent type of trauma that leaves a person feeling insecure, overwhelmed and unsafe in the world: complex post-traumatic stress disorder, or CPTSD.

In our practice as trauma-informed therapists, we recognize that many of those seeking our care have a history of trauma throughout their childhood. It is likely they have complex trauma that has resulted in CPTSD. It’s hard for trauma survivors themselves to recognize this.

Because living in a triggered state of alarm is so familiar, many don’t realize trauma is the source of their feeling “not okay.” That’s why I want to address CPTSD here and to encourage those who feel overwhelmed or hopeless to realize they are not broken. They are injured, and these injuries are treatable.

What is complex trauma or CPTSD?

Complex PTSD or complex trauma is trauma that starts or happens in childhood. It’s relational (occurring in relationships, usually some of the most important ones) and developmental (happening during the formative years of childhood).

Complex trauma is usually recurring (happens more than once) and is inflicted by a caregiver, parent, guardian, or person who has close, repeated contact — like a clergy person, neighbor or family member. Complex trauma can consist of emotional, physical and/or sexual violence.

Every time I use the term “trauma survivor,” I use it to encompass all types of trauma: complex trauma, single-incident trauma, the

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How Do you Emotionally Self-Regulate to Handle Life?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and searched for ways to calm your emotions? You’re not alone. We all develop coping mechanisms to deal with emotional triggers, but have you ever stopped to think about how effective they really are? By examining your self-regulation strategies and identifying what works for you, you can take control of your emotional well-being and develop a more resilient mindset.

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6 ways to calm your nervous system right now and understand it.

Do you always feel like you’re on high alert? Or do you just feel numb? Perhaps you bounce back and forth between the two? Have you wondered how to feel calm or peaceful? 

If you find the state of the world today especially triggering, you are not alone! Fortunately, by understanding our nervous systems and trauma responses, we can also understand and adopt new ways of calming our nervous systems to achieve enhanced wellbeing.

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You deserve love and harmony no matter your scars from trauma

Trauma survivor love

CDC research shows more than 60 percent of American adults have as children experienced at least one ACE (adverse childhood experience), and almost a quarter of adults have experienced 3 or more ACEs — and this is likely an underestimate. [Source: CDC]

Because emotional trauma is so prevalent, you are likely a trauma survivor; you are in a relationship with a trauma survivor — or both.

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