Complex post-traumatic stress disorder, or C-PTSD, is the result of prolonged exposure to trauma. Whereas PTSD reflects a disorder that derives from a short-lived traumatic experience like a car accident or sexual assault, C-PTSD stems from instances of ongoing chronic trauma like domestic violence, being held in captivity or ongoing childhood physical/sexual abuse.
Imagine feeling in control of your body but out of control when it comes to your mind. You might feel like your home is your safe place and isolate yourself because you feel like you can’t trust anyone else. You might feel a sense of hopelessness and a loss of faith in the future, as well as humanity. Nightmares might haunt your dreams and flashbacks of repressed memories might darken your waking life. Anxiety and panic attacks may plague your existence. You feel trapped in a cycle chronic trauma helped create and internalize these “habits” as aspects of your nature that aren’t “normal.” Some days living with complex PTSD might not feel like life at all to you. However, it’s important to remind ourselves there is hope and you aren’t alone.