Complex post-traumatic stress disorder

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder

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Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma with lack or loss of control, disempowerment, and in the context of either captivity or entrapment, i.e. the lack of a viable escape route for the victim. C-PTSD is distinct from, but similar to, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The C-PTSD diagnosis developed when some clinicians argued that PTSD did not account for all the symptoms in some patients who had been repeatedly traumatized. Though mainstream journals have published papers on C-PTSD, the category is not formally recognized in diagnostic systems such as DSM or ICD.

C-PTSD involves complex and reciprocal interactions between multiple biopsychosocial systems. It was first referred to by Judith Herman in her book Trauma & Recovery and an accompanying article. Forms of trauma associated with C-PTSD include sexual abuse (especially child sexual abuse), physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence or torture -- all repeated traumas in which there is an actual or perceived inability for the victim to escape.Freyd, J.J. (1997) Violations of power, adaptive blindness, and...
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