Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) occurs from experiencing prolonged exposure to childhood neglect, abuse, feelings of having limited protection, and/or limited attachment to caregivers. Despite these events occurring throughout childhood, the lasting effects of C-PTSD can be devastating. However, working with a therapist trained in trauma can effectively help someone regain their sense of meaning and purpose in life.
I Just Want to Feel ‘Normal’
People who experience the events noted above can struggle throughout their lives in various domains. Some of these experiences relate to dissociation patterns when stressful events occur, challenges with emotion and nervous system dysregulation, chronic health issues, interpersonal challenges with themselves and within relationships, unstable sense of self, negative views of self as being broken or damaged, and have a higher likelihood of high-risk behaviors. Living with C-PTSD can make people feel like foreigners in their own body.
When someone living with C-PTSD seeks trauma therapy, there are multiple domains that need attention. And, all of these different areas are important to address. One of the foundational aspects to treating trauma is stabilizing the nervous system through the use of Polyvagal Theory.
How Does C-PTSD develop?
As noted above, C-PTSD typically forms during childhood from a lack of connection and safety from caregivers. One or two instances of disconnection or invalidation from caregivers typically does not equate to C-PTSD symptoms. C-PTSD occurs from enduring periods of broken attachment, disconnection, and feelings of being vulnerable.
C-PTSD results in structural brain changes in the areas of the brain that maintain memories, assess emotional responses to situations, and carry decision-making abilities. Not only is the brain impacted by C-PTSD but so is the nervous system. When we grow up in chronic stress, our nervous systems can become rigid and not respond to cues of safety or threat in an adaptive manner. This can increase a person’s risk of experiencing additional trauma later in life.
Break Free from C-PTSD
Our bodies adapt to ensure survival. These adaptive responses formed from past situations and experiences where our nervous systems needed to respond to protect us. Locating a trauma therapist near you that understands what C-PTSD is and how to support someone in recovery is paramount. Therapy for C-PTSD takes time. Patience is crucial in this healing process.
C-PTSD Therapist in Denver
At Revitalize Mental Health PLLC, we offer a beautiful blend of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and Somatic Experiencing therapy to support people healing from C-PTSD and other overwhelming emotions. See how working with a trauma therapist near DTC can support your healing journey. Click here to submit an online form, or call us at 720.295.6703, to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.