Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) refer to a psychological injury that can occur when a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event that involves death or threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or threatened sexual violation.
What is the difference between PTSD & C-PTSD?
PTSD is generally related to a single traumatic event. For example:
- Witnessing or experiencing a serious accident
- Witnessing or experiencing physical or sexual assault
- Combat exposure
C-PTSD is related to a series of events, or one prolonged event that lasts over a period of months or even years. For example:
- Experiencing childhood abuse or neglect
- Living under any oppressive conditions long-term where you felt entirely powerless.
- Combat exposure
- Bring a prisoner of war, or being a victim of human trafficking
What are the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress?
PTSD symptoms are generally fall into the following 4 main categories:
- Flashbacks and dissociative flashbacks
- Fearful thoughts
- Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event.
Arousal and reactivity symptoms:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Always being on guard for danger
- Hypersensitivity to possible dangers
- Feeling tense and anxious
Symptoms that affect mood and thinking:
- Inability to remember some aspects of the trauma
- Feeling disconnected from your faith or questioning your belief systems.
- Feelings of detachment and estrangement from others and emotionally and mentally numb.
*PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They may also be triggered by a stressful event. If the symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you may have PTSD.
Do I have PTSD?
PTSD can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional trained in the use of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
What can I do if I think I have PTSD?
Speak with a mental health professional.
Schedule your appointment today!
There are several treatment options for trauma, which include, but are not limited to: Talk Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
Leonard, J. (2018, August 28). “What to know about complex PTSD.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from