Adults with C-PTSD have sometimes experienced prolonged interpersonal traumatization as children as well as prolonged trauma as adults.This early injury interrupts the development of a robust sense of self and of others.The phenomenon of the increased risk of violence and death of stepchildren is referred to as the Cinderella effect.
For C-PTSD to manifest, the violence would occur under conditions of captivity, loss of control and disempowerment, coinciding with the death of a friend or loved one in life-threatening circumstances.
This again is most likely for children and stepchildren who experience prolonged domestic or chronic community violence that ultimately results in the death of friends and loved ones.
However, it was soon suggested that PTSD failed to account for the cluster of symptoms that were often observed in cases of prolonged abuse, particularly that which was perpetrated against children by caregivers during multiple childhood and adolescent developmental stages.
Such patients were often extremely difficult to treat with established methods.
is a psychological disorder thought to occur as a result of repetitive, prolonged trauma involving sustained abuse or abandonment by a caregiver or other interpersonal relationships with an uneven power dynamic.
C-PTSD is associated with sexual, emotional or physical abuse or neglect in childhood, intimate partner violence, victims of kidnapping and hostage situations, indentured servants, victims of slavery, sweatshop workers, prisoners of war, victims of bullying, concentration camp survivors, residential school survivors, and defectors of cults or cult-like organizations.
Situations involving captivity/entrapment (a situation lacking a viable escape route for the victim or a perception of such) can lead to C-PTSD-like symptoms, which include prolonged feelings of terror, worthlessness, helplessness, and deformation of one's identity and sense of self.
Though peer-reviewed journals have published papers on C-PTSD, the category is not yet adopted by either the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), or in the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Edition (ICD-10).
If a traumatic event was life-threatening, but did not result in death, then it is more likely that the survivor will experience post-traumatic stress symptoms.
If a person dies, and the survivor was close to the person who died, then it is more likely that symptoms of grief will also develop.
Trauma can be repeated on behavioural, emotional, physiologic, and neuroendocrinologic levels.