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
- 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.
- difficulty controlling your emotions
Daily basis: outbursts, switching moods instantly, unstable, people question your sanity
- feeling very hostile or distrustful towards the world,
Daily basis: un-trusting of everyone, lying, full of hate it fills my chest like concrete
- constant feelings of emptiness or hopelessness
Daily basis: utter despair and desolation, screaming into a void
- 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
- 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
- feeling like nobody can understand what happened to you
Daily basis: I should be able to get over my trauma, self blame, isolation
- 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
- often experiencing dissociative symptoms such as depersonalisation or derealisation
Daily basis: Funny that
- 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.
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).