Symptoms of Complex PTSD


All patients with complex PTSD have suffered a prolonged trauma. This trauma could have been the result of war, as in the case of veterans or victims of war time violence. Other patients suffer trauma in the form of physical or sexual abuse, captivity or another prolonged trauma.


A sufferer of complex PTSD has issues with emotional regulation, including persistent sadness, explosive or inhibited anger and/or suicidal thoughts.

System of Meanings

Complex PTSD creates a change in your system of meanings, such as a loss of faith or an overall sense of despair.


A sufferer of complex PTSD will have alterations in consciousness due to the traumatic events. She either will forget, or block, the traumatic events, keep reliving the trauma or have episodes when she feels as though she is detached from her own body or mental process.


Complex PTSD has an effect on the patient's relationships as well. Many sufferers isolate themselves, distrust others or keep searching for a rescuer to prevent future trauma.

Additionally, the patient will have an extreme relationship with the person or people who inflicted the trauma. He might attribute total power to the perpetrator or become preoccupied with his relationship with the perpetrator, and sometimes be preoccupied with revenge.


Patients with complex PTSD have self-image issues and struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, helplessness, stigma and a feeling that they are different from others. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects veterans and victims of severe abuse and trauma. The symptoms of this disorder vary widely and can differ from person to person. Treatments vary based upon the symptoms of the patient. The difference between PTSD and complex PTSD is the duration of the trauma and chronic victimization.