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Old 12-22-2018, 10:25 PM   #1
HopefullyLost1211
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Lightbulb What is the difference between PTSD and CPTSD?

Hello. I was diagnosed with PTSD and had never heard of Complicated PTSD until I came to this forum. One person said that C-PTSD is like narcissistic personality disorder. Is that accurate? If that's true, then wouldn't it fall in the personality disorder section? Would anyone care to explain? What am I missing? Thank you
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Old 12-23-2018, 01:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: What is the difference between PTSD and CPTSD?

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Originally Posted by HopefullyLost1211 View Post
Hello. I was diagnosed with PTSD and had never heard of Complicated PTSD until I came to this forum. One person said that C-PTSD is like narcissistic personality disorder. Is that accurate? If that's true, then wouldn't it fall in the personality disorder section? Would anyone care to explain? What am I missing? Thank you


No it is not, but the defenses can be. Read Pete walker. Complex ptsd is very different from ptsd.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:23 PM   #3
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Well... I'm certainly no expert with regard to this, although I think I probably have some complex PTSD myself. When I think of PTSD versus cPTSD I think that PTSD is a response to a particular experience, where cPTSD is a response to an accumulation of experiences over time. (I don't know if that's at all accurate though.) Here are links to 2 articles, from PC's archives, one that discusses PTSD & one on cPTSD:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Complex PTSD | Psychotherapy Matters

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Old 12-27-2018, 06:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: What is the difference between PTSD and CPTSD?

No, it's absolutely not the same. What can be similar is the reason these conditions appear. It may be childhood abuse and neglect. Both physical but emotional abuse and neglect is a huge trauma as well. So the reason may be the same. However the symptoms and personality traits are very different.
As has been already suggested, I highly recommend to read Peter Walker's book and watch videos about cptsd on YouTube.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: What is the difference between PTSD and CPTSD?

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Originally Posted by HopefullyLost1211 View Post
Hello. I was diagnosed with PTSD and had never heard of Complicated PTSD until I came to this forum. One person said that C-PTSD is like narcissistic personality disorder. Is that accurate? If that's true, then wouldn't it fall in the personality disorder section? Would anyone care to explain? What am I missing? Thank you
no you are not missing anything... no its not like narcissistic personality disorder.

the word complex is sometimes added to a persons files when they have many different problems with their mental disorder.

CPTSD is not a mental disorder in the books yet. but some places around the world recognize that people like veterans have a long term problem with having flashback, nightmares, anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, mild dissociation problems, due to long term military duty or long term abuse. (basic PTSD symptoms)

if you do a google search of the history of the word complex being added to PTSD you will find such things as in its beginnings it wasnt looped with a mental disorder. the word complex was a description of a persons problems...

you know like a teacher can be teaching math and say to their students ... now pay attention because this lesson is complex, there are many different things you need to do with it.

and somewhere along the way it started being misused as a separate PTSD disorder even though its not recognized as one. as a way to designate that a person has long term PTSD with long term symptoms.

At the moment this is not in the diagnostic books as a mental disorder but some locations recognize the grouping of symptoms and the severity and the duration that a person has had PTSD as Complex PTSD.

now on come the change over of the mental health systems in 2013 and thanks to the DSM5 Complex PTSD is called by different things more individualized according to how it affects a person and what each persons grouping of symptoms are.

example my CPTSD is called Acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. america has many trauma and stress related disorders category with many different PTSD mental disorders. CPTSD is not one of the diagnostic labels but they do recognize the symptoms and call it by other things.

right now there are petitions and considerations with the APA (american Psychiatric Association, the agency in america that names what mental disorders there are in the world along with other countries professionals, and anyone else that wants to take part in the process ) for considering making this grouping of long term problems an actual mental disorder label

so maybe some day it will be a recognized mental disorder label, until then people get their problems with it treated under different mental disorder names.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is the difference between PTSD and CPTSD?

I agree that CPTSD is not like NPD..

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Old 01-01-2019, 07:11 PM   #7
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Hello. I was diagnosed with PTSD and had never heard of Complicated PTSD until I came to this forum. One person said that C-PTSD is like narcissistic personality disorder. Is that accurate?
Absolutely not.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:14 PM   #8
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When I think of PTSD versus cPTSD I think that PTSD is a response to a particular experience, where cPTSD is a response to an accumulation of experiences over time.
That's a pretty good simple summary, Complex PTSD is PTSD but with complex causes, tangled up in a person's personal history and development rather than reducible to discrete events (although in most cases there are also discrete events that stand out).
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