What are the symptoms of Complex PTSD?

April 10, 2023

A condition known as Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder has been recognized by the World Health Organization, in its International Classification of Diseases, 11th revision. Calls to recognize complex PTSD as a distinct disorder arose from concerns that the PTSD diagnosis may not adequately capture the experiences of those exposed to repeated traumas.

Complex PTSD is recognized as typically developing after prolonged exposure to extremely threatening or horrific events such as repeated sexual or physical abuse that the child cannot escape from. Complex PTSD includes all the PTSD criteria — coupled with severe and persistent difficulties in regulating emotions, along with experiencing guilt or shame related to the trauma and challenges in sustaining relationships. For more information, see Vol. 15, No. 2 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.