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Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are mental disorders that one can develop after experiencing a traumatic event. Witnessing someone getting murdered or getting assaulted sexually are a few examples of experiences that can cause PTSD and C-PTSD.

While both C-PTSD and PTSD are mental health disorders, they mean different things. The difference between C-PTSD vs. PTSD is that C-PTSD occurs when one gets exposed to multiple traumatic experiences, while PTSD usually occurs after one traumatic event. The symptoms of both conditions tend to vary.

Want to know the differences between C-PTSD vs. PTSD? This guide explores the differences between the two mental health disorders. #mainstreetmedical Share on X

Symptoms of PTSD

Here are some of the symptoms of PTSD that can negatively impact your everyday life.

  • Emotional flashbacks
  • Experiencing intrusive flashbacks, nightmares, and memories
  • Changes in mood, thoughts, and experiencing overwhelming negative emotions
  • Avoiding thoughts, places, and people that remind you about the trauma
  • Becoming easily frightened, irritable, and having difficulty in breathing

In most cases, PTSD symptoms develop in the first month after the traumatic event.

Symptoms of Complex-PTSD

People who suffer from C-PTSD experience all PTSD symptoms. However, they may also experience other additional symptoms, such as:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty in managing emotions
  • Strong feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Physical symptoms like chest pains and headaches
  • Long-term difficulty in maintaining interpersonal relationships

How These Disorders Develop

PTSD and complex PTSD develops when an individual experiences a traumatic event. People with the disorders tend to have intense and disturbing thoughts or feelings.

Here are a few examples of events that can cause PTSD.

  • Severe accidents
  • Physical or sexual assaults
  • Losing a baby after childbirth
  • Serious health problems that need intensive care

Some of the events that can cause someone to develop C-PTSD include:

  • Being kidnapped or tortured
  • Experiencing neglect or abuse as a child
  • Getting victimized during domestic violence
  • Witnessing multiple abuse or violence cases

The chances of developing C-PTSD are high if you become victimized in a traumatic event by someone closer to you or someone you’ll be seeing regularly. 

Reach Out When You Experience Trauma

Now that you know the causes and differences between C-PTSD vs. PTSD, you need to seek immediate medical attention when you experience the symptoms. The disorders can interfere with your mental health when left untreated. Several treatment options for both C-PTSD vs. PTSD are available. However, there are no medications for C-PTSD.

Contact us to learn more about C-PTSD vs. PTSD treatment methods.