Is it PTSD or C-PTSD?
Let’s talk about the differences between PTSD and C-PTSD.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is trauma and stress-related disorder. The symptoms of PTSD are stress-related coping mechanisms called “triggers,” which are associated with hypervigilance. (Lanius et al. 2010). These symptoms are often combined with non-anxiety symptoms such as angry outbursts, self-destructive behavior, flashbacks, and nightmares, and they include physiological sensations like nausea or sudden rapid heartbeat.
C-PTSD (Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a relatively new term. It does not have its own diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5.) Many mental health practitioners would like C-PTSD to have a separate diagnostic standard from those of PTSD. A possible indicator that this change may be forthcoming is that PTSD was removed from the “anxiety disorders” category and added to a brand new one called “trauma and stress-related disorders.” (Gattuso, R. 2018). So, maybe in version 6, we’ll see C-PTSD included as a separate disorder within the new “trauma and stress-related disorders” category.
People who have C-PTSD experience PTSD symptoms, but they also suffer from additional symptoms such as: