What Is C-PTSD? (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Complex PTSD is different from PTSD. With PTSD, there’s typically one traumatic incident that an individual is dealing with; however, Complex PTSD is a diagnosis that occurs when a person experiences repeated episodes of trauma. The individual has experienced several traumatic incidents which may have happened over the years. Their symptoms can be more severe than someone who has PTSD. The reason for this is that their trauma is repeated and prolonged.
A person who has Complex PTSD may cope with childhood sexual abuse or repeated incidents of trauma where they begin to be distrusting of other people. People who have been raised in an unsafe household are likely to have Complex PTSD. When a parent harms a child, they grow up being fearful that they may be hurt again. Complex PTSD doesn’t necessarily have to be related to child abuse but can affect adults. Anyone who has experienced repeated trauma can have this diagnosis. If you have survived the repeated traumatic incidents, you could benefit from seeking mental health treatment. Consider seeing an online therapist so you can work through your pain.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a challenging situation and could benefit from additional support, consider talking to one of the 2,000 licensed online counselors at BetterHelp.
IMPORTANT: The information in this video is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your doctor.

  • Miguel Gonzalez
    Miguel Gonzalez

    Great video, well explained. But what I can never find info on is what do I do now? I can’t live like this anymore.....

  • q1koolaid

    So what’s the difference between PTSD and CPTSD?

  • THA Trailer Park Polak
    THA Trailer Park Polak

    Auch.. had first depression... borderline... PTSD...well its probebly cptsd if i got checked out Now

  • Codi Mocker
    Codi Mocker

    From someone suffering from CPTSD:, thank you for sharing this and thank you for the work you are doing.

  • NorthSouthGaming !
    NorthSouthGaming !

    I used your services, I can’t thank you enough.

  • CityKanin

    Oh dear... this gives me food for thought. I need to consult my psychologicist. A doctor brought ptsd to my attention after i was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

  • Irene Schiller
    Irene Schiller

    Where can you get help for PTSD.?

  • Impressivesara Sara Brown
    Impressivesara Sara Brown

    My score if what I found on the internet was correct is 9. There just is no help if you do not have money. I finally started to see hope and lost my insurance. Went a year got a new insurance and can't use it . I have a 13,000 co pay . Impossible

  • Terry N Jas
    Terry N Jas


  • JAYBee

    When I was told I have ptsd I was doubtful, I mean even seeing a psychologist was to me just not done because it was weak and I could overcome anything with hard work etc ..it took my worse fear the loss of my father to realise that I fell into a very dark hole and climbing out of it, seems impossible

  • Chonghan L
    Chonghan L

    Do people with c-ptsd have a higher chance of BPD/attachment issues? Or maybe searching out for friends or partners harder because they want validation or love that they didn’t get before?

  • The mindless tuber
    The mindless tuber

    I have CPTSD...and it took YEARS before i got the diagnosis. I got several other diagnosis and heavy medications instead. I am glad i finally got the right diagnosis but through these years in the healthcare/mentalcare...i feel abused and so misunderstood. Healthcare must be better educated here.

  • Lisa

    Thank you 😊

  • bcabmac

    Doctors ignore the fact that most of the suffering comes from the hellish stimulant hormone chemicals that are constantly being dumped into your body by your adrenal system. They mistakenly think it's all psychological. When in fact it is a neuro disease caused by severe trauma. It's like ( living in electricity) The body reacts by dumping high levels of these chemicals during trauma. But in some people it doesn't stop. The neuro response system over developes the nerves and glands responsible for fight or flight. The blood levels of these chemicals in people with PTSD is OFF the charts with adrenaline, like cortisol, homocysteine, norepinephrine and several others. The slightest triggers or thought proccess can shotgun release even more quantities way above and beyond a normal persons. The sustained high levels are enough to drive a person mad. It's like trying to navigate every day life being on meth, cocaine and caffeine. Shoot an average person up with constant levels of these stimulant chemicals on a regular basis and you can create PTSD in an otherwise healthy person. It's like living an inescapable hell. It's like being a 9volt pocket radio plugged into a 220 outlet. At first you know something is wrong but dont know what or why. Your trying to process and experience everyday life impaired by these horrible stimulant hormones. Great to survive in a do or die situation. Disastrous trying live everyday normal life. Certain thyroid and adrenal system diseases in people mimic the exact same symptomology as PTSD. But you don,t treat them with counseling and psych drugs. There is a major disconnect with the medical community in understanding the difference between the physiological disease and psychological components of PTSD. With PTSD the region that is damaged is called the stellate ganglion along with the autonomic nerve pathways to the brain. The medical community while classifying PTSD as a disease, treat and view it more like a syndrome of psychology rather then the physical disease it really is. This approach is cruel in that it makes sufferers believe they can " think" their way out of suffering by therapy, behavior modification and counseling alone. These are tools, yes. But a cure, no. This is no different then having a patient believe they can "think" or "behave" their way out of Thyroid disease, or Addisons disease or diabetes. PTSD should be classified by the actual disorder that causes it. That is Traumatic Hyperreactive Adrenal Neuro Disease or ( THAND ) And it should be treated accordingly. There was a study done by the military on use of SGB, but it was highly biased and subsequently did not match the success and use in the private sector for treatment and results. If you have the money go see Dr. Eugene Lipov. He anesthetizes this over grown and over stimulated damaged nerve cluster by blocking its nuclear bomb response in dumping adrenaline and the other stress hormones causing this region to atrophy to normal function. Its called an SGB. It's very similar to the surgical approach of treating an overactive thyroid. If you been living with traumatic hyperreactive adrenal neuro disease ( THAND ) and are tired of feeling electric, like ice water in your blood, at that heightened state of alert, go see Dr. Lipov. I wish I could myself but maybe there's others who can find relief. I've witnessed many who said it was like being born again. That its "turned off" You know what I'm talking about. Coordinate counseling or therapy after treatment to re learn feeling normal while your not full of these excess toxic levels of hormones. The medical community is stuck on a psychological component. But that's like what came first, the chicken or the egg. They admonish people who attempt to self medicate to find relief, which usually can have disastrous results. The irony of that is they prescribe drugs that offer little to no real relief that do just the same thing, mask or barely patch with equally disastrous results and complications in many. Sometimes treating people into a state of drug induced mental illness. Your basically adding drugs to the excess stimulant hormone levels already in your bloodstream. People I've talked to who had high blood pressure had their pressure drop to normal and taken off of meds after treatment for PTSD with SGB, others who were older had to have their BP medicine reduced significantly after SGB along with feeling normal the first time in some cases in decades. If someone reads this and has the procedure or knows someone who has had the procedure, please share with others. Because the medical community as of now will not acknowledge that PTSD is a physical disease. Psychology can be a component, but not the cause.

  • Daniel Dick
    Daniel Dick

    I would be interested to learn how marriage trauma or workplace trauma or divorce might cause C-PTSD--for instance, having a spouse with bipolar I or II or BPD or some kind of narcissistic disorder, a sociopath or psychopath, for example. I was married to a woman with bipolar I disorder for about 9 years. We had wonderful and horrible times. I'd rather not go into our whole story here, but I do have a strong interest in this from the perspective of understanding how people in these situations could have good, lasting, healthy marriages or avoid the trauma of a horrible marriage with all the problems it can bring to the children or pass down the generations. It would be good to understand the treacher of it all and the effective coping mechanisms one might use to bring about the best short and long term outcome.

  • Dylan Colby
    Dylan Colby

    My child psychologist told me on the last day I had scheduled to ever come back, that in the 10 years he had known me, he never got anywhere with me, and that he had failed. That did something to my outlook on life.

    • starrynightsky

      Sorry to hear this happened to you :'(

  • Adrian At And T
    Adrian At And T

    Can 9t lead to panic attacks being agea8d of going out?

  • Judy L. Beres
    Judy L. Beres

    Thank you I have family members with this condition. This helped me understand it more than before.

  • purity4all

    I would like to know why some people who drink like fish and or take all kinds of drugs and don't eat right have great memories, while some others who live a relatively clean lifestyle have horrible memories. Especially short term and working memory.

  • tamarra beckons
    tamarra beckons

    It's not always a parent an sick evil sibling can do just as much if not more damage

  • Jen B
    Jen B

    The more I learn about c-ptsd the more I realize it applies to me. So.... What now? Where do I go from here?

  • Sky Just
    Sky Just

    I didn't even remember being molested as a small child until I was in my 50s after my mom died I always wondered why my brother wasn't nice to me after I got baptized I had all that under control unit my ex talked me into quitting therapy now I'm a mess & she's retired

  • SirParcifal

    I was diagnosed with complext PTSD; adjustment disorder; secondary traumatic stress disorder; codependency; depression and anxiety. I grew up in a household where my father was abused by his mother ; he was a recovering alcoholic (*even though we had a dry house and he got help for it and didn't fall off the wagon...) and to top it all off - he was a Vietnam Vet with combat related PTSD; my mother a codependent with narcissistic tendancies... So it's not hard to pinpoint - growing up in a severely dysfunctional family where you are verbally and physically abused doesn't help...

  • Tara Sapone
    Tara Sapone

    I can't think about my parents! I don't want to be SUICIDAL!!!!😰😨😢😥😓😩😫😫😩😓😥

    • Tara Sapone
      Tara Sapone

      Totally true! Unless I had the right setting in order to do so!

  • Tara Sapone
    Tara Sapone

    A person will naturally not hear negativity. Well fock! The victim is focked then huh? EXPERIENCE!😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬

    • Tara Sapone
      Tara Sapone


  • Tara Sapone
    Tara Sapone

    A victim naturally won't have any friends! THEY ARE NEGATIVE! THEY ARE SATAN.....made if you will.....from abuser's causing them to be SUPER negative!.....A victim would NOT be disgustingly negative if it were NOT from an abuser who made them that way! ..... Satan is ALL about negativity! To everything that is negative is usually caused by Satan! God is negative against what is negative. Satan is negative by manipulating things to be negative! There is a difference! Just there's a major difference between ......... anything that's going on......There is a difference between evil's!!!!........Simple example is stealing a penny candy from the candy store.......Which doesn't exist anymore!....... But when they did exist........Stealing a penny candy from a candy store is NOTHING compared to child molestation that can RUIN an individual for life! Depending on their situation! Like did they ever fully get out of it.....the victim who was unfortunately child molested? Of course it's NOT evil to steal penny candy at all! & Really is it even WRONG to steal penny candy? THEY ARE LEAPERS! AWE!!!! The walking dead! STAY FAR FAR AWAY!😲😯😮😲😯😮😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲

    • Tara Sapone
      Tara Sapone


  • Tara Sapone
    Tara Sapone

    When a victim is never able to have an outlet for the ATTACKS that were forced to endure...... . . Maybe they could end up like me begging from total stranger's! Because I was a victim to abusers for so long it's natural that I was isolated.....because abusers isolate their victim's!

  • Tara Sapone
    Tara Sapone

    My SEVERE complex PTSD led me down to be that DESPARATE TO BEG anyone!..... It seems crazy but in my opinion it is a very natural process that is caused entirely by ABUSE!

  • Brad Salley
    Brad Salley

    Thank you so much for this video it means a lot to me I don’t have to explain it anymore to people close to me you really are a lifesaver thank you

  • Pentu Plove
    Pentu Plove

    To recover from PTSD and Complex PTSD ones brain must change. A woman had therapy yet the PTSD remained. Research for her medication prevent her brain from changing. I'm from Northern Ireland, a civilian. Had PTSD diagnosed. Fled to Holland (Europe) was assaulted there by white Dutch. Diagnosed with Autism level 2 and PTSD. Then diagnosed with Complex PTSD before going for intensive 8 days of EMDR therapy, which included physical training. The food served was lacking nutrition and calories. At the end of the treatment we came back and listened to a patient for 2 hours telling use it is going to be his 8th time coming back for therapy. We where all shocked. The therapy doesnt work. EMDR is hypnosis. Many times I had to tell the licensed therapists that they forgot to lock down the session by having me repeat certain words. Distance from the L.E.D's. Matters. I worked that out minutes into the first session. Ghe licensed therapists had no idea. They did get angry when I said EMDR is hypnosis. Love mu Autism.

  • Bryan Cooper
    Bryan Cooper

    I think watching this is helping a little. I had an attack last Monday and it's been a week and I'm still feeling it

  • Pentu Plove
    Pentu Plove

    People get PTSD even if their life isn't in danger. The 11 September 2001 "attacks" caused people around the world to get PTSD. A Dutch mother got PTSD asca result of her daughter needing hospitisation and care after she was born.

  • Life Is Beautiful
    Life Is Beautiful

    Chronic adrenal fatigue

  • Life Is Beautiful
    Life Is Beautiful

    I am alone, I can't communicate with people face to face because I'm too disordered, every time I piss someone off because when talking it just comes out wrong, I laugh at just the wrong moment because all I want to do is escape, crawl up in my skin, anything except being there in the moment, I become even more of a mess. I've been psychologically abused so many times that I've been thinking prison might be inevitable. A neighbor is currently playing silly games with me at the moment, walking past the front of my house looking up at the security camera, smirking, like he can do whatever he pleases and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. Police say they can't do anything because there is no evidence to prove what he is doing, the camera doesn't catch him doing anything because he sneaks around out of view, I find waste dumped next to my car now and again, I know who's doing it. Had a brief conversation with him some time ago, an ex-friend of mine has been mouthing off about me, and he knows what's been said, again, while talking I freeze, that's why he said people have had to leave Manchester, and I didn't process it until later, I feel slow to react. know what a threat is, only, he thinks I won't do anything because there is nothing I can do, hence the smirk, dumping dog feces on my drive. He knows nothing because one day his assumptions might be proven wrong. I've had images in my head of what I will do to him. I will have to leave Manchester will I, no, fucking no, you will die.

  • Life Is Beautiful
    Life Is Beautiful

    Sometimes a person might be abrupt with me, basically talk to me like I'm dirt and in my head I freeze, dissociate from the environment I'm in, I'm there but not at the same time. Then I walk away having been unable to verbally give it back, it's like my brain just doesn't know what to say at the time. Later I will process what happened, as a realization of exactly what happened, then I'm angry with myself because I feel that person just walked all over me, I feel weak. Every time someone speaks to me like I am dirt it gets compounded onto the previous incident, then it continues. One day I am going to snap, and when I do I won't care about the consequences. I see severed heads on sticks in the middle of the street.

  • Felipe Brockveld
    Felipe Brockveld

    Doctor, I just want to look myself in the mirror and don’t want to cry. It is the only thing that I want back. Why my treatment is being privated from me?????

  • football goodies
    football goodies

    My PTSD is due to greed from my surgeon or doctor's, operating on me and leaving surgical Staples in my chest, this medical malpractice has left me in pain for 15 years and doctor's don't care about what happened to me !

  • Cuda FX
    Cuda FX

    that it's often misdiagnosed as borderline is one incredibly important tidbit!

  • Beaulieu C
    Beaulieu C

    I have had workplace bullying and narcissist parents,, school bullying and abuse by school teachers. I get triggers by being in environments that remind me of the abuse, even in libraries where staff are cold and the library looks institutionised

  • Irene

    Damn, I need help. 😥

  • Dano Man
    Dano Man

    my wife has seems the best treatment for my problem is exorcism through mental torture..

  • Dee D502
    Dee D502

    Is a 3 bad ?

  • Vincent Dimenna
    Vincent Dimenna

    I have that thx for the info what do I do with no insurance???

  • K. ZUNA
    K. ZUNA

    aaannnd...THANKS for this video,,, helped open up another chamber locked in my brain..... Thank you

  • Hersimone

    Read Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving & The Tao of Fully Feeling by Pete Walker. Take it easy when exploring this though as without support you could risk re-trauma. If your therapist is unfamiliar then get them to buy the book and work through it with you as they need to understand this as it is more common than realised & a lot of people get misdiagnosed which only treats part of the problem. Get the therapist to give you a reduced rate as effectively you will be educating them about this. Good luck and much love to everyone out there facing this. You are NOT alone. I think about you all every day. Be persistent asking for help, get as much info as possible as you are forging a path for future sufferers. You are a survivor and much stronger than you think x

  • Chief Seattle
    Chief Seattle

    Can C-PTSD present as chronic anxiety and alcoholism/suicide attempts?

    • Kjiersten Bartlett
      Kjiersten Bartlett

      Yes, it can. The anxiety comes from trying to get over/around it and the freeze-down arising out of stressful experiences and toxic people. It will present as feeling overwhelmed by the memories of past abuses, e.g. flashing back to former verbal and emotional abuses from your history. As regards suicidality, yes, there is a direct connection with PTSD as WELL as CPTSD. PTSD and a direct comorbid link to severe depressive incidents and many of the components of Major Depressive Disorder (DSM5). Many of the feelings displayed are sense of"worthlessness," death wishes, attempts at self-harm e.g. cutting, etc.These feeling many times come a clusters and multiply them selves to the point of either suicidal ideations, either with or without plan all the way up to an actual attempts. The more traumatic the attempt, the more intense the response becomes, up to the point of ER presentation to full admission. C-PTSD (which is NOT in the DSM 5, but is under discussion) is, as its name implies is a lower (or higher, if you will) function of the more common PTSD. Both of these disorders can precipitate as a dual-diagnosis as substance abuse(s) such as alcohol, drugs of and class, etc. Most times the abuses that are common in the dual-diagnoses would really be attempts to "self-medicate" to relieve the symptoms that are characters of the pain arising from the experiences of the original abuse(s) or traumatic events. So, In short, Yes and yes and yes of other self destructive behaviors. How do I know this? I experience(ed) it (BTDT)and I'm both studying it (Bibliotherapy) and having to teach it to my therapist (who I see Q2wks, not really enough, but I have to accept it.) who may know about PTSD but noting about both Narcissistic Personality Abuse Victim Disorder AND, by extension, CPTSD. I DO hope I explained this an hope it helps. All the Best to you, Kjiersten. <Kb>

  • Violet Flame
    Violet Flame

    This has been extremely helpful to me at this time ❤ Thank you so much for sharing this

  • dale harrison
    dale harrison

    Nearly got there with some hard hitting distinctions....


    i think i might have some form of mental illnesses, but im afraid that if i tell my parents they'll abandon me. or get rid of me entirely.

  • Jelle Xnitnub
    Jelle Xnitnub

    My narcissist girlfriend tells me I should love myself more , that's not sound advice at all I know

  • coco mallp
    coco mallp

    Thanks for explaining both types of ptsd..very helpful in knowing what the hell is wrong with me..am I really sick..should I ignore some symptoms feeling like a baby from shame or not taking this illness seriously. So yeah I have CPTSD.. So again thank you.

  • Dr Justin Havens
    Dr Justin Havens

    Nightmares can affect anyone with trauma - this 5 min youtube video explains how you can stop them @cxfA

    • jc curran
      jc curran

      Dr. Justin Havins - Nice to have a Doctor in the House ! (NonTroll Comment - Loving Kind Comment). I had 3 nightmares in 1 night. I do self-hypnosis, meditate and employ lucid dteaming but still cannot change outcome. I did try (with no luck) to type in the 4 lettered site you suggested. Thanks for yout caring comments on this site. Warmest regards to all.❤🐱🐕

  • DONALD1951

    I lost my only son. He was a wonderful human being. This will give you CPTSD.

    • t a
      t a

      I am SO sorry.

    • Hersimone

      So sorry to hear that Donald :( I hope you are getting support. Sending you lots of love x

  • Vanessa B
    Vanessa B

    Thank you for speaking so calmly and clearly. And not too quick.

  • Shae Nickerson
    Shae Nickerson

    Warning to my fellow C-PTSD sufferers. I survived a malignant narc mother who joined a guru cult and dragged me around to guru festivals in the 1970's. I also ended up marrying a very violent man and that took me 14 yrs to escape. I got breast cancer, and the treatments exacerbated my C-PTSD really bad!!! If anyone has this and needs to have a lot of medical treatment, please speak up and let your doctors know so they can watch you carefully. You know you have it bad when the psychiatrist has to clear his schedule for 3 hours just to listen to all the trauma. God Bless you all....this is not easy, but it is nice to know it is not MY fault!!

  • Cassie Oz
    Cassie Oz

    The (reasonable) focus on early childhood results in underestimation of how many people with good childhoods and families, are affected due to abuse in vulnerable teen years.

  • Sal Blasker
    Sal Blasker

    I saw domestic violence as a child. Then I had to cope with an angry single parent who didn't get child support from the age of 11. I had no holidays for 16 years because my mother didn't get child support from my absent father. Then my father and his sick family framed my mother as terrorists after 9/11 and people believed it and let racists from the local council and Nazis and Asian gang people access my home on lies and I was framed, a deeply religious woman as a sex worker ( someone who has been celibate all her life for religion and because marrying and having a happy family was important after coming from a broken home). Then, I was poisoned repeatedly and nearly blinded and nearly deafened and nearly paralysed and plagiarised and robbed of my dignity, my looks, my figure and my health thanks to repeated and casual poisoning because violent savages were given access to my HOME, MY SAFE SPACE. I am now in my 40s and despite living an exemplary life and having 40 years of school and work reports to prove it, I have no husband, no child and no one to take care of me when I am sick and I don't know what is going to happen to me when I am old and I have Nazis still labelling me and stigmatising me for the absent parent who never gave me child support and framed me as a terrorist because of his mental issues. I now have COMPLEX PTSD because NO ONE can cope with living in a horrific place where they are GANGED up on by gang people, devil worshippers, people involved in illegal activity, racists and Nazis after being fatherless and after being in Biblical terms an ORPHAN. If you let animals into someone's HOME, they become a MAGNET for every low life in town. The whole thing snowballs out of all control. The rich Luciferians used to poison me every time they didn't like something I said in my own home and to cover up their crime, they will seclude the victim of their crime by bribing trash to lie. I have put PROOF of the FACTS publicly on Facebook that proves I was a fatherless child and that I have been EXEMPLARY ALL MY LIFE AND I MEAN EXEMPLARY so why are so many people telling lies? What kind of a country do I live in that this could happen to the children of single parents who were exemplary enough to stand first in their year at school? " She has to made a paki," I think is the reason that ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS were incited to lie about a teacher they have never met and call a deeply religious woman an animal! Asian/ black criminals/ gangs and racist whites working together just as in the days of slavery and colonialism when TRASH from each group would work together to harm innocent people and sell out their rights. Nothing has changed.

  • aundrea hodges
    aundrea hodges

    I just went from one traumatic event to the next. For the last 17 years with no break in between. I'm 22 know. I finally have a chance to breathe. But, now I have to find a healthier way to cope with the traumas. I'm going to therapy. I'm surprised that I'm still here. That I didn't take my own life.

  • Ruby

    I thought I 'cured' myself through hypnosis but after an incident Im showing signs of trauma resurfacing 😣 I just want to feel normal

  • Abigail Chauvin
    Abigail Chauvin

    can c-ptsd occur due to incidents related to an absent parent who suddenly died, like from feelings of abandonment?