What is Complex-PTSD

 In 1980 the American Psychiatric Association added Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The DSM is a guide delineating the assortment of afflictions that therapists are permitted to charge money for addressing.

PTSD is a disorder people generally acquired by experiencing a traumatic event, such as an earthquake, divorce, auto accident, exposure to combat, or any other painful stressors. while most people exposed to traumatic events do not develop PTSD, some do.

In some cases people experience chronic trauma that continues or repeats for months or years at a time. This is Complex-PTSD (CPTSD), and there are important distinctions in the manner in which the two disorders manifest themselves. CPTSD was identified as a subset of PTSD in mid-1990, and is being considered for addition to the DSM in 2017.

CPTSD symptoms exist across a spectrum, with the more severe cases associated with recurring trauma during the development phases of early childhood. The primary stressors in such cases include abandonment, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.


Imagine that you were a passenger involved in a violent plane crash. But against all odds, you survived. Consider how the event might influence your perception of flying.

Imagine being in a similarly violent plane crash, randomly, about once a week for the first ten years of your life. Consider how this series of events would impact your perception of the world.