Why PTSD, CPTSD and Childhood Trauma is so often Misunderstood
Symptoms of PTSD, CPTSD and Childhood Trauma are many faceted, and act themselves out differently within different circumstances and are dependent on whomever you are interacting with, at any given moment.
Some of the more known activated responses of post-trauma are; hyper-vigilance, irritability, inability to relax, feeling emotionally overwhelmed, anger outbursts and tantrums, crying, sobbing breakdowns.
The above mentioned can easily be mistaken for; ADHD, personality disorder, being bi-polar, disruptive mood disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, and many more to mention with weird names.
Nervous System Freeze Responses of PTSD, CPTD and Childhood Trauma
Highs, of fight-flight activation of the nervous system, are, in case of post-traumatic stress disorder, almost always followed by lows which results in; lethargy, feeling depressed, feeling worthless, hopeless, despairing, dissociated and being insensitive to others.
This response, from a nervous system perspective, relates to a freeze response but can easily be mistaken for: burn-out, depression, dissociative disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, empathy deficit disorder and many, many more.
The Reality of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Misdiagnosis
These symptoms are indications of the realities of a CPTSD, PTSD or Post Childhood Trauma state. When you get treated for only a certain set of symptoms without a full grasp of your whole condition, it becomes a hit and miss approach. This is frustrating when you’re attempting recovery, as it will start to feel as though you’re not progressing at all.
Complexity of PTSD, CPTSD and Childhood Trauma doesn’t stop here. The fight-flight and freeze responses and their symptoms are often followed by forms of addictions and compulsions such as: binge eating, alcohol and/or substance abuse, self-harming, becoming suicidal, obsessive binge tv/internet watching, a workaholic, being promiscuous, obsessive cleaning, so on, and so forth.
Each of those mentioned have their own disorder labels to them, and along with that, impacting on the physical body’s health and associated health problems. For example; substance abuse disorder, self-injury disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, heart disorder, digestive disorder, immune system disorder, etcetera.
Dealing with PTSD, CPTSD and Childhood Trauma
This lack of a healthy overview of how a variety of symptoms are part of an overall PTSD, CPTSD and Childhood Trauma condition/disorder, hurts both the patient and practitioner.
There is a danger in focusing on one symptom only, because a practitioner along with the one who suffers, may find comfort or security in dealing with only one manifestation of trauma rather then the whole complexity of symptoms of PTSD, CPTSD and Childhood Trauma.
A focus that is partial, will never bring about a fully healed recovery of PTSD or CPTSD, and it can become a life long occupation, exhausting for both the patient and practitioner alike.
How to Help Someone with PTSD
If you feel withheld and defined by a certain set of interpretations and limitations regarding your symptoms; start finding and connecting with people who understand you, and are able and willing to hold your space within their attentive grasp. Unfortunately, nobody apart from yourself is going to do this for you!
Which particular set of symptoms of post-trauma have you become overly focused on? Leave your comment below.