Complex PTSD results from exposure to prolonged trauma from which there is no perceived escape for the victim.
Loss of control, helplessness, and deformations of identity and sense of self can result as coping mechanisms often without the victim being aware of them. Forms of trauma that can be associated with complex PTSD are sexual, physical and emotional abuse and domestic violence.
There are many studies on the development of trauma symptoms and the factors associated with recovery and counselling therapies that help. What is often less understood is the effects of multiple traumas across the lifespan and accumulating emotional response to traumatic events. Most individuals recover from a traumatic event where their life is at risk or there was threat of injury, but sometimes a traumatic event is not processed and an individual is left with intrusive memories or flashbacks, anxiety and depression and poor emotional regulation/anger after the event. Complex PTSD is being considered as a new diagnostic category that explains the impact of many traumas on the development of an individuals personality and future planning. Trauma affects future planning and the ability to feel safe when reminded of the trauma or people associated with the trauma. Counselling helps by talking through traumas, discovering the “self” that is not affected by trauma and managing the anxiety related to the triggering of fear/anger/grief.
Psychologists provide help by helping with improving self esteem, enhancing relationship skills and providing techniques to manage psychological triggers that cause distress.
Book a free emotional health check up at Vision Psychology today, and find out more about treatment options for complex PTSD. Freecall (07) 3088 5422 .