People often associate post-traumatic stress disorder with wartime veterans, but there’s another type of post-traumatic stress disorder that’s often not talked about – complex post-traumatic stress disorder. That’s exactly what we’re here to discuss.

 Take a break from looking into hormone replacement therapy at, and let’s get into the details about complex post-traumatic stress disorder, what are its symptoms, and available treatment options.

What is CPTSD?

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) is also known as complex trauma. CPTSD is a psychological condition that occurs as the result of repeated traumatic events that are usually experienced in childhood or long-term relationships.

Oftentimes, people associate trauma with something physical, but this isn’t always the case. Trauma can also be caused by exposure to psychological or emotional abuse caused by individuals whom you’re close with.

What are the Symptoms of CPTSD?

Difficulty with Relationships

People that suffer from CPTSD often find it incredibly challenging to maintain and develop healthy interpersonal relationships. This is because they usually have issues trusting others, establishing healthy boundaries, and feeling safe in a relationship – all of which are incredibly important to establishing healthy relationships.

Issues with Self-Esteem

Unfortunately, people who experience CPTSD most often have issues with their self-esteem. They have a distorted view of who they are, and they typically have low self-worth. The emotional trauma that they’ve experienced makes them question their beliefs about themselves, and it creates a feeling of not being good enough.

Always on Edge

Individuals who have CPTSD are often always on edge. CPTSD completely dysregulates an individual’s nervous system, which is responsible for reacting to external stimuli. In turn, this causes people who have CPTSD to overreact as their bodies are constantly on guard for threats. This leads to being easily startled, increased arousal, and experiencing anxiety regularly.


CPTSD can result in individuals dissociating from reality. This happens because a person who suffers from CPTSD cannot effectively manage the bombardment of emotions occurring within them, so they adapt by learning how to disconnect from reality. This isn’t something to blame them for, as their bodies are trying to protect them from further harm.

Frequent Mood Swings

CPTSD creates an unstable mental environment in individuals, which frequently results in unprecedented mood swings. This could look like feeling elated and joyful one moment, and within seconds, a feeling of intense dread or unease.

Overcoming CPTSD

Fortunately, there is help for people that suffer from complex post-traumatic stress disorder, but it’ll take time to heal and regulate your nervous system. The most effective treatment involves specialized therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy, talk therapy, and trauma-focused therapy. These therapies help individuals to explore their trauma, learn healthier coping mechanisms, and provide skills to help them regulate their emotions. Medications are also sometimes used to treat individuals with CPTSD, but it’s not always necessary.

If you believe that you’re experiencing CPTSD, it’s important that you consult with a professional to help you overcome this debilitating disorder.