May 31

Symptoms of C-PTSD


For trauma survivors life feels difficult much of the time. They may experience only a few or many of these symptoms. This is a partial list. Survivors of C-PTSD (Complex PTSD) have symptoms but often don’t know that the cause was neglect. It’s not unusual for there to have been no overt abuse.

  • Black & White / All or none thinking
  • Brain fog / difficulty concentrating
  • Addictions / addictive behavior
  • Emotional Flashbacks
  • Passive attitude towards life or alternatively overly aggressive (fight attitude)
  • Inner &/ or Outer Critic (Extreme criticism of self or others or situations)
  • Toxic Shame
  • Self-Abandonment
  • Social anxiety / general anxiety
  • Chronic exhaustion
  • Lack of affect (emotions)
  • Diminished capacity for connection
  • Attachment disorders
  • Shallow breathing
  • Body armoring (chronic muscle tension)
  • Abject feelings of loneliness and abandonment
  • Fragile Self-esteem
  • Developmental Arrests
  • Relationship difficulties: Overly avoidant or needy vs. secure in relationships
  • Radical mood vacillations
  • Dissociation / disconnection from self and others
  • Hair-triggered fight/ flight response
  • Over sensitivity to stressful situations
  • Suicidal Ideation

A variety of medical conditions due to trauma and a dysregulated nervous system may be present as well. These are often diagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and others. These do occur independent of trauma, yet they’re also often associated with it.

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