Complex Trauma

Most of us think we know what the word trauma means, but what exactly is complex trauma? Let me explain it so maybe you can better understand the meaning. It’s a trauma with greater complexity in symptoms. Its usually but not always related to child physical, sexual, emotional, and or spiritual abuse at the hand of someone who was suppose to be protecting the child. Examples: Father, Mother, Uncle, Aunt, Neighbor, Pastor, Priest, Coach, Teacher, etc….. Since it occurs to a child then it tends to be ongoing in nature due to the fact most children don’t tell. Its also a sense of personal betrayal. The trauma occurs during developmentally sensitive years. Complex- PTSD share similarities with PTSD while differing in significant ways.

Many experience nightmares, and flashbacks of the event or events both in C-PTSD and PTSD. They both tend to avoid certain people or situations in order not to have their past experienced over and over again causing a hyper-arousal of their feelings. Both of these diagnosis leads to self-blame,fear and depression.

There is hope! There is a path to restoration! There is good news! The process can be painful but well worth the time spent getting help. Timing is crucial. Survivors need to have mental space and time in their schedules to reflect on the changes taking place, as well as adequate relational support to benefit from the work that will need to be done to recover.

This article was written and published by Cheryl Connor. Cheryl has since retired, and all posts she created have been associated with Jenifer Whitemire.

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