Story by: Sara Thompson on November 18, 2022
Most people probably have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This anxiety disorder results from a traumatic event, which can be physical, emotional, spiritual or psychological in nature. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) has all the characteristics of PTSD and then some. Here is a breakdown of both conditions and their symptoms.
“Trauma is not rare,” said Jonathon White, LCSW, a social worker with Norton Behavioral Health. “About 60% percent of men and 50% of women will experience some form of trauma in their lifetime.”
Traumatic events include war, domestic violence, death and more.
“PTSD can happen to anyone, at any time. It’s not a sign of weakness,” Jonathon said. “Many times, developing this condition isn’t in your control.”
A type of trauma that is often unaddressed is race-based trauma. “It’s a culturally sensitive topic, so therapists may avoid bringing race into a therapy session out of racial bias or limited cultural insight,” said Jonathon. He recommends The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health by Dr. Rheeda Walker as a resource for helping navigate mental health systems.
The Institute for Health Equity, a Part of Norton Healthcare, was established to address health and racial inequalities in our community.
Symptoms fall into four categories. Not everyone experiences these in the same way or to the same degree.
“Complex PTSD is pretty much just what it sounds like — a more complex variation on regular PTSD,” Jonathon said. “The symptoms might be more intense, more frequent or happen in conjunction with many other symptoms.”
CPTSD includes the symptoms above and:
“You aren’t alone,” Jonathon said. “It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help.”
If you are in crisis, don’t wait.
Go to the emergency department, or call 911 or call a suicide hotline — such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).
You also can call 988 or chat at 988Lifeline.org.
Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.