The Difference Between PTSD And CPTSD

PTSD can be a very hard condition for any person to deal with. PTSD is an abbreviation for post-traumatic stress disorder and can happen when an individual experiences something extremely traumatic, like a natural disaster or a physical threat to one’s life. PTSD is very common in combat veterans, law enforcement officers, car accident survivors, or natural disaster survivors that have experienced extremely traumatic events to their bodies and minds. This kind of stress disorder typically involves physical trauma as well as psychological trauma, whose symptoms often coincide and form triggers. 

CPTSD is an abbreviation for complex post-traumatic stress disorder and often shares the same symptoms with PTSD. However, CPTSD comes with a myriad of additional symptoms. Symptoms of CPTSD that are sometimes, but not always experienced by PTSD sufferers include: 

  • A lack of control over your emotions
  • Hostile feelings towards others or the world in general
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Feeling like you are permanently damaged
  • Feeling like you are completely different from other people
  • Feeling like no one can understand what happened to you
  • Avoiding friendships and relationships, or just generally finding them difficult
  • Dissociative symptoms
  • Suicidal thoughts, feelings, or tendencies 

These symptoms combined make PTSD and CPTSD a very formidable threat to one’s mental health. Victims of abuse, car accident survivors, survivors of terror attacks, and victims of sexual violence can develop PTDS or CPTSD. However, CPTSD is more common in individuals that:

  • Experienced trauma in early childhood 
  • Those who were exposed to the trauma for either a long time or multiple times
  • Those who weren’t likely to be rescued (such as adult sexual abuse survivors)
  • Those were harmed by someone close to them

Conditions like PTSD and CPTSD can often leave those that suffer from these conditions feeling trapped and alone. Many feel like there is no way out of their situations, but there is always a way out with the help of a trained mental health professional. 

A great first step is to go to therapy, and let a professional guide you. It’s also good to have a support system of friends and family that can help you through this. Mental health issues can be scary, but you’re never alone. Seek out help with Reboot, and you can learn to cope with your symptoms.