According to research, the traumatic events like car accident, disasters are time limited. If some of the people experience chronic trauma, the behaviour and coping mechanism of such cases becomes severely impaired. The existing diagnosis of PTSD does not include the severe psychological which happens due to repeated or chronic prolonged trauma. Thee are many additional symptoms such as the way people adapt to stressful events changes permanently.
According to the research professors from Harvard University, there is a need to create new diagnosis for Complex PTSD to understand the real effects of long term and repeated trauma. The Complex PTSD symptoms got another name called Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS). Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) are also present in some of the cases specially children who experience chronic trauma.
What is Complex post-traumatic stress disorder?
The complex trauma which is often used as a separate term for CPTSD, is a result of repetitive and prolonged trauma such as child abuse, intimate partner violence, caregiver abandonment, etc. Few other examples are prisoners of war, concentration camp survivors, captivity or entrapment situations can lead to C-PTSD-like symptoms, It includes long feeling of helplessness and deformation of sense of self.
Although there has been some research done and argues by research community, this illness has not been included in American Psychiatric Association’s DSM 5 as well as in World Health Organization’s ICD 10. There has been a proposition to put it in ICD 18 in the year 2018.
The major differences between PTSD and C-PTSD includes captivity, psychological fragmentation, sense of safety, trust, and self-worth are lost, higher tendency to be revictimized. The most important difference is the loss of coherent sense of self.
What additional symptoms in Complex PTSD?
Following are some of the additional symptoms on top of PTSD which patients of C-PTSD may experience:
1. Emotional Regulation – like persistent sadness, suicidal thoughts, explosive anger, inhibited anger, etc.
2. Consciousness – They tend to forget traumatic events, reliving traumatic events, etc.
3. Self-Perception – This is the top differentiator. It will involve person feeling helpless, guilt, stigma, and a sense of being completely different.
4. Relations with Others is suffered – isolation, distrust, etc.
5. Loss of faith
6. Continued sense of hopelessness and despair
Treatment for Complex PTSD
The Standard evidence-based treatments is very effective for PTSD. For treating Complex PTSD the interpersonal difficulties and specific symptoms are required to be addresses. Recovery from CPTSD requires restoration of control and power for the traumatized person. Here the survivors needs to be empowered by healing relationships. They need strong feeling of safety, remembrance, mourning and everyday life.