Geneva, IL PTSD Experts: Learning More About CPTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

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Did you know that an estimated 7.2 percent of American adults struggle with some form of PTSD? Additionally, 3.8 percent struggle with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD).

Many people don’t know about CPTSD, and even mental health professionals often misdiagnose it as another condition (such as a personality disorder). We’re here to talk about it.

Let’s learn about the basics of CPTSD from our experts in Geneva.

What is CPTSD? 

CPTSD is a trauma-based anxiety condition.

CPTSD is the result of long-term trauma. Often, this trauma is cumulative, meaning that it isn’t always “intense” or obvious as a traumatic event, but because it continues over time, it still results in a mental health condition.

It is not a distinct condition in the DSM-5 yet, but that doesn’t mean that therapists and psychiatrists from the Geneva area and beyond don’t spend a lot of time working with CPTSD patients.

CPTSD Symptoms

The symptoms of CPTSD are similar to those of PTSD, but CPSTD comes with extra symptoms.

People with CPTSD have trouble with emotional control. They may struggle with normal emotional responses, even for everyday events. It’s not uncommon for people with CPTSD to struggle with suicidal thoughts and have angry outbursts.

People with CPTSD often struggle with interpersonal relationships between family members, friends, and romantic partners. This is often due to distrust and an overwhelming sense of impending doom.

They often have a negative self-view, and they may deal with depersonalization.


So, what’s the difference between PTSD and CPTSD?

Many Geneva mental health professionals, and those around the world, choose to lump these two conditions together. The symptoms and treatment methods are similar enough that this shouldn’t harm most CPTSD patients, but there are still distinctions in the conditions.

First, CPTSD is due to prolonged trauma. PTSD results from a single traumatic event. Symptoms of CPTSD can be more subtle (though no less harmful) and are more similar to symptoms of other common mental health conditions.

CPTSD can result from almost any long-term traumatic event (even events that may not seem traumatic to people who didn’t experience them). Common causes include:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Neglect
  • Slavery
  • Genocide or conflict
  • Torture

CPTSD Treatment

There are treatment options for patients with CPTSD, even if the condition isn’t yet well-understood by mental health professionals.

People with CPTSD will want to find a mental health professional who uses trauma-informed practices. They’ll understand the complexities of the disorder and how to treat it in a way that won’t make patients “re-live” the events.

Medication management is popular for CPTSD, but many patients find success with EMDR. EMDR is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It’s similar to exposure therapy but in a more controlled environment.

Some people like to add talk therapy, art therapy, and brain-spotting therapy. You may mix and match different treatment styles until you find the right one that works for you.

You Can Heal from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with the Help of a Geneva Therapist

Healing from complex post-traumatic stress disorder can feel daunting, but with the right tools and mental health professionals from the Geneva area, you can take your life back.

Are you ready to start healing?

At Braden Counseling Center, our team is ready to help you on your journey toward recovery. Contact us to set up an appointment today.