Complex PTSD

Complex PTSD: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Complex PTSD is not the same as PTSD, although of course, it is similar. Complex PTSD (which you might see written as C-PTSD or CPTSD) is when a sufferer has some PTSD symptoms, but also has other mental health issues and feeling on top of this – thus their PTSD is more complex than the standard illness would be.

What are Additional Complex PTSD Symptoms?

If you have complex PTSD, you might have symptoms which include:

  • an inability to control your emotions
  • anger issues
  • a feeling of hostility towards individuals or the world in general
  • a feeling of emptiness or hopelessness
  • a feeling of being ‘damaged’
  • you might feel as though there is no one else like you in the world
  • you could feel as though no one understands you
  • avoiding making new friends and staying away from old friends
  • finding all relationships difficult
  • suicidal thoughts

Emotional Flashbacks

For many people with complex PTSD, emotional flashbacks are one of the major symptoms of the condition. An emotional flashback is when you have the same thoughts and feelings as you did during the original trauma, whether that be fear, shame, despair, pain, sadness, terror, or anything else.

For those with C-PTSD, feeling the exact symptoms once more can be paralyzing and cause them to break down completely. They might not even realize they are having a flashback as the feelings and thoughts will be so real.

Causes of Complex PTSD

Not every person who has complex PTSD will have been through the same kind of past trauma. They might not even have been through a similar trauma. Everyone reacts to situations differently, and what could cause one person to start suffering from complex PTSD might cause another not to suffer at all, or to have PTSD instead.

Some examples of what might cause complex PTSD include:

  • abuse (in childhood or as an adult)
  • domestic violence
  • rape
  • assault
  • a car accident
  • the loss of a loved one
  • being told they have a terminal illness
  • being a prisoner of war

Although there is no telling who will develop complex PTSD, there are some groups of people who are considered more likely to suffer from this condition. They are those who experienced trauma when they were young, as well as those whose trauma lasted for many months or years (rather than a one-off event). People who have suffered from multiple traumas will also be at risk.


Complex PTSD can often be misdiagnosed, especially since the symptoms are very similar to those seen in those who have a borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Although it is wise to seek advice from a healthcare professional and good to follow their advice, remember that this is your condition that is being dealt with, and it is important to do your own research as well. If you think that you are suffering from one thing and are diagnosed with another, you can ask for a second opinion and make sure you are going to be treated in the right way. 

Complex PTSD Treatment with the SGB Injection

The Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD is a new treatment option that has been found to be effective for treating the debilitating symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, panic attacks, anger, and more. This PTSD breakthrough injection is simply a local anesthetic that is injected into the stellate ganglion, which is a bundle of nerve fibers located on the right side of the neck. The stellate ganglion is believed to play a significant role in regulating the ‘fight or flight’ response.

Those with post traumatic stress disorder typically have an overactive sympathetic nervous system, which results in elevated levels of adrenaline in the body. This is the culprit for the common symptoms of PTSD, such as anxiety and anger. The SGB injection to treat PTSD works by numbing the stellate ganglion, which neutralizes the ‘fight or flight’ response and brings adrenaline levels down to normal.

Many successful cases have been seen with this PTSD injection treatment. The SGB works to reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of PTSD to help the individual return to their mental states prior to their traumatic experience. If you are interested in the SGB injection for PTSD, give us a call today to learn if it is right for you.

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