What is C-PTSD and How Does it Impact Personal Relationships?

Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is used by people who do research on mental health disorders to explain what happens when someone is exposed to trauma. People who suffer from complex traumatic events have different symptoms than people with PTSD. the typical symptoms will be there, but with C-PTSD, an individual may also develop mood and behavioral disorders. They may develop health conditions as a result of stress. Substance abuse is also a risk for people with C-PTSD, higher than for those with PTSD. The stress it puts on relationships is also immense and difficult to undermine.


Everyone has someone in their lives to whom they’re connected. These relationships form the core of who a person is, at the heart of their lives. Trauma survivors often have trouble controlling the intensity and duration of negative emotions they experience. Outbursts of anger, worry, and negative mood can place stress on interpersonal and work relationships. These are important for people and provide emotional support. When going through major life events, these relationships are important to experiencing a better quality of life and good health. With complex trauma, people often don’t have healthy relationships. The source of trauma may have been a trusted adult in their childhood. They may not feel comfortable around people like religious leaders, teachers, or coaches. Repeated abuse and neglect can cause lasting damage to their relational skills and ability to connect with others.


Severe trauma hurts the trust bond between a person and another individual. It also hurts future romantic connections. Their fear of being harmed or betrayed can cause barriers to go up. This creates stress for both people. It is helpful to seek out support for these issues and get assistance with healing. Working with a therapist in complex trauma is immensely helpful. A good way forward is by working with a therapist who specializes in complex trauma. To be understood, it is important to find a strategy that works for that person’s individual situation. This may include:

  • Rehab for addiction
  • Recovery support groups
  • Health and healing spaces like yoga or meditation
  • Finding hope from creative outlets and hobbies
  • Seeking counseling support

Working with therapists who understand complex trauma is helpful to heal. A treatment strategy is important in finding support, as well. It is often helpful to attend therapy and open lines of communication to understand the root causes of anxiety, among other difficult symptoms.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. We have experience treating addiction, mental health, and recovery as the most important thing you can do for yourself here and now. Our team of experts understands complex trauma and how to support your healing journey. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.