Treating Complex PTSD

Complex PTSD treatment comes with specific challenges compared to those who have PTSD. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person experiences a traumatic event, while complex PTSD occurs after a series of traumatic events. PTSD is usually related to a single event, while complex PTSD is related to a series of events or prolonged events.

Some examples of complex PTSD are:
* Childhood neglect
* Physical or sexual abuse early in life
* Witnessing domestic violence
* Human trafficking
* Being a refugee or living in a war torn region

People with complex PTSD may experience difficulties with relationships. They tend to avoid others and may feel a lack of connection to others.

Symptoms of Complex PTSD are:
* Flashbacks and nightmares
* Hyperarousal, or being in a state of high alert
* Loss of trust in oneself or others
* Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
* Being startled by loud noises
* Issues with emotional regulation
* Detachment from the trauma

Aside from these symptoms, people with complex PTSD might also engage in behaviors related to their trauma.

Examples of these behaviors include:
* Abusing alcohol or drugs
* Becoming “people-pleasers”
* Lashing out at minor criticisms
* Self-Harm

Engaging in these behaviors develops as a way to cope with the trauma and emotional pain. Treatment for complex PTSD can vary, and not every method will work for every person. The most common option is talk therapy, in which the person sees a mental health specialist. Some medications for complex PTSD are the same ones used for depression. These medicines may be especially effective in combining with talk therapy. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR helps people with complex PTSD process traumatic memories. Complex PTSD treatment starts with understanding how it is different than PTSD. People with complex PTSD might choose to try out talk therapy, medication, or EMDR as a way to process the trauma and heal.

Family Strategies Counseling & Mediation is based in Homewood, Illinois. We specilized in trauma informed therapy that extends to families, children, and couples. Call (708) 798-5433 or email to Book.

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