Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a condition that results from chronic or long-term exposure to emotional trauma over which a victim has little or no control and from which there is little or no hope of escape, such as in cases of:
domestic emotional, physical or sexual abuse
childhood emotional, physical or sexual abuse
entrapment or kidnapping.
slavery or enforced labour.
long-term imprisonment and torture
repeated violations of personal boundaries.
exposure to gaslighting & false accusations
long-term exposure to inconsistent, push-pull, splitting or alternating raging & hoovering behaviours.
long-term taking care of mentally ill or chronically sick family members.
long-term exposure to crisis conditions.
When people have been trapped in a situation over which they had little or no control at the beginning, middle or end, they can carry an intense sense of dread even after that situation is removed. This is because they know how bad things can possibly be. And they know that it could possibly happen again. And they know that if it ever does happen again, it might be worse than before.
C-PTSD – What it Feels Like:
People who suffer from C-PTSD may feel un-centred and shaky as if they are likely to have an embarrassing emotional breakdown or burst into tears at any moment. They may feel unloved – or that nothing they can accomplish is ever going to be “good enough” for others.
People who suffer from C-PTSD may feel compelled to get away from others and be by themselves so that no-one will witness what may come next. They may feel afraid to form close friendships to prevent possible loss should another catastrophe strike.
People who suffer from C-PTSD may feel that everything is just about to go “out the window” and that they will not be able to handle even the simplest task. They may be too distracted by what is going on at home to focus on being successful at school or in the workplace.
“The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables. Said if I could get down thirteen turnips a day I would be grounded, rooted. Said my head would not keep flying away to where the darkness lives.
The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight. Said for twenty dollars she’d tell me what to do. I handed her the twenty. She said, “Stop worrying, darling. You will find a good man soon.”
The first psychotherapist told me to spend three hours each day sitting in a dark closet with my eyes closed and ears plugged. I tried it once but couldn’t stop thinking about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet.
The yogi told me to stretch everything but the truth. Said to focus on the out breath. Said everyone finds happiness when they care more about what they give than what they get.
The pharmacist said, “Lexapro, Lamictal, Lithium, Xanax.”
The doctor said an antipsychotic might help me forget what the trauma said.
The trauma said, “Don’t write these poems. Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.”
But my bones said, “Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River convinced he was entirely alone.”
My bones said, “Write the poems.” ― Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase
Some people believe that depression is merely the blues, or feeling blah, and thinking negatively. These same people will often be the ones to suggest that if you think more positively or just get outside or exercise it will improve.
Depression is a chemical reaction and disturbance in your brain that can’t be shaken away with a few positive thoughts or sweaty exercises.
Even if the depression is the natural result of illness, trauma, or any toxic occurrence the brain has been chemically changed. It’s never in the person’s imagination or because of their attitude!
Depression is real and it hurts like a bitch.
Unlike an image that went around the web a while ago which showed depression as feeling like watching paint dry, depression is much more aggressive, damaging, and just as painful as anything physical injury.
Depression changes the way you think which in turn affects how you feel.
Here are some REAL symptoms and examples of depression and how it looks in real life;
An apathy that can be so overwhelming that the person can’t roll over in bed or get up to go to the bathroom.
Constant feelings of immense doom.
Periods of severe agitation and anger.
Periods of extreme exhaustion and weakness.
An underlying, persistent, and severe, self-hatred.
Constant overwhelming guilt.
A gut-wrenching sadness that can’t be relieved.
A tremendous fear of having to continue to live like this and an overbearing fear of death at the same time.
Physical pains of many kinds.
Oversleeping and insomnia.
Overeating and not being able to eat.
Crying that won’t stop and feels as if one’s soul is broken.
Immense feelings of abandonment and loneliness.
Not being able to stop damaging thought-cycles.
Unreal perceptions of doom, rejection, and paranoia.
Despite all of the above, in atypical depression, there may be moments of being okay, like laughing at a joke from a friend. If a depressed person experiences breakthroughs like this it does not mean they are faking it or are all better.
Depressed people aren’t selfish, or self-centered, they’re sick. And sick of being sick.
Depression is real; it’s like having a virus inside you that is continually pumping its venom through you, and it won’t retreat.
Of course, there are many other symptoms that can be attributed to depression, but above are listed some of the lesser-acknowledged ones.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t ignore them thinking that they will go away. Get them help.
“This is for you, the one whose soul is weary, whose heart is battered, whose wounds may be invisible but just as devastating. The one who is tired of the endless, nonsensical arguments. The one is exhausted from trying to salvage something that is slowly killing her day in and day out. I want you to remember your worth and purpose in this world. I want you to reawaken your power.
I want you to know that it is okay to leave the people who are harming you. It is okay to not be okay for a while. It’s okay to take the time to be alone and rebuild the life you seek.
I want you to savor the beauty of your solitude, no matter what your relationship status. I want you to be a fighter in a world that teaches women they are only valuable if they are chosen by a man. I want you to inspire those around you by speaking so gently and lovingly to yourself that the cruelty and judgment of others melts away into the distance. I want all your naysayers to be overshadowed by the wildness of your strength. I want you to be the warrior woman they never saw coming.”