C-PTSD understanding dissociative disorder through trauma

OK no one gets a dissociative disorder because life is just too rosy. In my case and I am assuming others, it was a journey of trauma that made being dissociative a effective method of coping with the unacceptable, ie that I was in danger of dying or being killed.

So what is C-PTSD?

C-PTSD stands for complex PTSD. It means that a person, normally a kid was subjected to trauma that was either prolonged (example child abuse) or simply repeated traumas as in my case.

PTSD from the treatment I have had and the books I have read seems to fall into two camps, either you were abused as a child or you were a soldier in a war.  See trauma score.  Neither of this was very helpful for me and simply increased  with my denial that I had had any traumas at all.

In the last 10 years this seems to have shifted to include traumas with a small t, ie a trauma is anything that is traumatic. To a child being lost in a supermarket is traumatic, to an adult this would be less so. The realisation that anything that was deemed life threatening to oneself or a significant other was now deemed sufficient for PTSD to occur. (Very generous of the doctors).

Symptoms of PTSD

  • flashbacks
  • nightmares
  • repetitive and distressing images or sensations
  • physical sensations – such as pain, sweating, nausea or trembling

Complex PTSD has some of the symptoms of PTSD but also its own

Below are the symptoms copied from a trite website. I have added what these mean on a daily basis as the symptoms are written by a doctor who has no experience of living with PTSD.

  1. difficulty controlling your emotions
    Daily basis: outbursts, switching moods instantly, unstable, people question your sanity
  2.  feeling very hostile or distrustful towards the world,
    Daily basis:  un-trusting of everyone, lying,  full of hate it fills my chest like concrete
  3.  constant feelings of emptiness or hopelessness
    Daily basis: utter despair and desolation, screaming into a void
  4.  feeling as if you are permanently damaged or worthless
    Daily basis: I am broken, stay away, you will not like me if you get to know me
  5.  feeling as if you are completely different to other people
    Daily basis: Everyone has a plan and a place, I am nothing, I have no one
  6.  feeling like nobody can understand what happened to you
    Daily basis: I should be able to get over my trauma, self blame, isolation
  7.  avoiding friendships and relationships, or finding them very difficult
    Daily basis: when your own relationship with self is difficult those with others can be a nightmare
  8.  often experiencing dissociative symptoms such as depersonalisation or derealisation
    Daily basis: Funny that
  9.  regular suicidal feelings or thoughts
    Daily basis: Some more frightening than others, just an overwhelming feeling that I don’t want to die but it will end in suicide sooner of later.

See Mind Charity / C-PTSD.

PTSD is not something that you can just get over or hope that it will go away it is a state, it is memories that are trapped between the part of the brain that is memory of emotion and emotional memory (The Hippocampus).


OK what did I do about C-PTSD.