Complex post-traumatic stress disorder is PTSD plus problems managing your emotions and relationships.
The symptoms of PTSD are when a person involuntarily and vividly relives a traumatic event in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, or disturbing images combined with pain, sweating, feeling sick or trembling.
Complex PTSD includes feelings of being worthless, shame or guilt. You are unable to control your emotions. This also leads to difficulty in connecting with other people and trouble retaining friends and life partners.
A primary cause of complex PTSD is childhood abuse or neglect. This includes domestic violence, sexual abuse, torture, sex trafficking, or slavery and war. You are more likely to develop complex PTSD if you experienced trauma at a young age, were harmed by someone close to you who you trusted and you were unable to escape the trauma.
Therapies used to treat PTSD are trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). You might need treatment for other problems you may have, such as depression or alcohol addiction.