PTSD is a commonly reported mental health disorder that plagues millions of British and Scottish people annually. If you suffer from severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may be wondering how PTSD symptoms could possibly feel any worse or more debilitating than they already are. The reason for this escalation of symptoms may be attributed to a complex form of post-traumatic stress disorder, known as C-PTSD.


The Royal College of Psychiatrists have described treatments for PTSD and C-PTSD, as well as symptoms, which can range from mild to severe. In this article, we discuss the complex form of this mental health disorder, that can have debilitating life-long effects if left untreated. 

What Causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is caused by exposure to a traumatic event that can have an effect that lasts years — or even a lifetime. C-PTSD is the result of repeated trauma, neglect, or abuse. Since people who struggle with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder often suffer in silence, it’s important to speak openly about these issues. Suffering in silence often leads people to avoid seeking the help that they need to heal. 


Some of the key hallmarks of PTSD are nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, depression, social isolation and many others. People who suffer from post-traumatic stress are often treated by medical professionals with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Popular therapy sites like BetterHelp and Talkspace have even taken to providing psychotherapy treatment for PTSD and C-PTSD related symptoms online. Today’s online psychotherapy professionals are licensed to provide therapy and related mental health services online. You can access the care and expertise that you need from the comfort and safety of your own home. 

Complex Post-Traumatic Disorder Defined 

When you hear the term “complex post-traumatic disorder,” the first thing that likely comes to mind is to wonder how PTSD becomes complex. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder  occurs when the normal process of healing from PTSD is interrupted. This interruption occurs because the trauma-inducing stimulus is still present. People with C-PTSD are often victims of family violence or other victims of circumstances outside of their control. What makes PTSD complex — is the inability to escape from the person, place, or thing that is inducing the trauma. 


In this case, a clear example of someone who is in a situation they can’t easily escape from is a child experiencing child abuse or a spouse experiencing domestic abuse. In both cases, it is highly unlikely that either victim has the resources to escape the situation quickly. Escaping from family violence can often take years. If you or someone you know is in an emergency, you could call Breathing Space, NHS 24 or 999 for an ambulance. The helpline for Breathing Space is 0800 83 85 87.

Effects Exposure to Long-Term Trauma

Post-traumatic stress disorder becomes complex when the trauma is ongoing for an extended period of time. This means that people who are feeling the effects of C-PTSD are repeatedly reliving the trauma causing event and still facing the same traumatic circumstances. More common examples of C-PTSD inducing events are wars, natural disasters, famine, all forms of abuse, and other traumatic circumstances that are difficult to escape. 

The Benefits of Seeking Therapy for C-PTSD

If you’re living with CPTSD, seeking therapy can help you heal. Many different kinds of treatment can help those with C-PTSD, such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), trauma-informed therapy, and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Another excellent option to treat the effects of trauma is online therapy. Research shows that people living with C-PTSD benefit from using online therapy, with participants reporting less distress after working with an online therapist. Meeting with a therapist over the internet can help those who have experienced trauma because they feel safe. They can talk about their trauma in an environment where they feel comfortable. Healing from C-PTSD is possible, and online therapy is one way to face your trauma. Remember, no matter what you have endured, there is hope. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a therapist and start your journey to recovery from trauma.


Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.


Founder of in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X