While not many people realize this PTSD doesn’t just come in one form and for those with any form of it, it’s never the same. That all having been said, it seems C-PTSD tends to go hand in hand with abusive relationships more often than not.
For those who might not know, C-PTSD stands for Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is basically an anxiety disorder that tends to come forth from some kind of traumatic situation or event. This as noted above could be a toxic relationship or any other form of repeated trauma that spans over the course of several years. That in itself is what sets it apart from PTSD in general.
Psych Central wrote as follows on C-PTSD and relationships as a whole:
One of the core issues associated with ongoing trauma is difficulty in regulating emotions.3 Trauma survivors often have trouble controlling the intensity and duration of negative emotions. Outbursts of anger, high levels of worry, or ongoing negative mood can place significant stress on interpersonal and work relationships.4
Interpersonal relationships are an important part of life. Healthy relationships provide the emotional support we need to get through daily challenges. When we are going through more formidable events such as major life transitions, a stable and supportive connection with others gives us the strength we need to face challenges. Our relationships are key to experiencing a greater quality of life and good health.
Individuals suffering from complex trauma often have difficulties in relationships. One of the reasons for this is that, in many cases, the source of past trauma was a trusted adult. Children can often fall prey to authority figures such as coaches, teachers, or religious leaders. Repeated neglect or abuse by a parent, or by an adult who was close to the child or the child’s family, can create long-lasting damage to the ability to form relationships or establishing trust later in life.5
A lack of trust can devastate a romantic connection. Fear of being harmed or betrayed can put up barriers between two people that are difficult to overcome. This situation creates substantial stress for both partners. If the difficulties are a result of complex trauma symptoms and not a result of an unhealthy relationship, it would be beneficial to seek help not only for the healing of the sufferer but for the health of the relationship which, in itself, can provide assistance with healing.
While a lot of people wonder what keeps those who are abused from leaving those who are doing harm to them but leaving is just not as simple as we might wish it could be. The thing is, those being abused do not realize it until they are in way over their heads and by that point, they do not see a proper way out, or they believe they deserve the treatment they’re getting. Abuse in itself isn’t always physical, emotional abuse over time can build up into something far more intense than most assume as well.
When someone finally leaves this kind of situation, oftentimes they face C-PTSD. This meaning they may end up having flashbacks, avoid certain situations, and even end up quite on edge even in the most simple situations. Those with C-PTSD tend to struggle with really regulating their emotions and usually don’t see themselves as they are, they feel like they are shameful or to blame for all that they and the people close to them have been through or are going through. They are not a burden, but they feel as if they are.
To learn more about C-PTSD and how to move forth from it take a look at the video below. While this might not sound like much to those on the outside looking in, for those dealing with it things are not easy. This is a very real problem for many.