Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Complex PTSD may be diagnosed in adults or children who have repeatedly experienced traumatic events, such as violence, neglect or abuse.

Complex PTSD is thought to be more severe if the traumatic events happened early in life, if the person was along during the trauma and if there’s still contact with the person responsible for the trauma.


Symptoms of complex PTSD

CPTSD is a condition where you experience some of the symptoms of PTSD, along with some additional symptoms, such as:

  • difficulty controlling your emotions
  • feeling very hostile or distrustful towards the world
  • constant feelings of emptiness or hopelessness
  • feeling like nobody can understand what happened to you
  • feeling as if you are permanently damaged or worthless
  • regular suicidal feelings


Treating complex PTSD

If you have complex PTSD, you may be offered therapies used to treat PTSD, such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy.

Often people will CPTSD find it difficult to trust other people, so you may be offered more therapy sessions than usual to give you time to build a trusting relationship with your therapist.

After your treatment ends, you should be offered ongoing support.