Is this PTSD? Your opinions welcome. Scientific question, really.

Not open for further replies.


Thanks for asking. Shortly I can answer yes, no, yes. But I can make a separate thread about myself later, and get into those questions.

Appreciated, and thanks for contributing. Like @Teasel I went to the NHS website to read up on C-PTSD but didn't find anything on how you need have regular PTSD at core, and then C-PTSD as an overlay. But maybe the NHS have changed their definitions since they published the booklet. Not that it matters much. Some define it this way, others that way. And definitions change over time, and good is that. But regardless of the «whole different books, different schools» thing, I think the definition of C-PTSD as laid out on the English Wikipedia page is useful, as such a definition provide a diagnosis for patients who don't necessarily have single episodes that brought about it all, but rather constantly being outside their window of tolerance. Many fit that pattern.

Here's Wikipedia on C-PTSD:
«In the diagnosis of PTSD, the definition of the stressor event is narrowly limited to life-threatening events, with the implication that these are typically sudden and unexpected events. Complex PTSD vastly widened the definition of potential stressor events by calling them adverse events, and deliberating dropping reference to life-threatening, so that experiences can be included such as neglect, emotional abuse, or living in a war zone without having specifically experienced life-threatening events

Regardless of whether that definition will change later, I still think it's useful to have the umbrella term «FFF disorders» handy, as the circumstances that may being about C-PTSD looks very much like a it's prolonged FFF-response. So it's a relative of PTSD, I would say, even if C-PTSD would fall out of the diagnosis manuals, or have it's name changed.
if you haven't suffered from life threatening trauma or sexual abuse, how do you have PTSD?


Hi @Gibson , your original question is "is this PTSD?". Are you asking if you have PTSD?
Or are you querying a diagnosis you have?
Best place to do that is with your doctors.

Debating criteria for diagnosis isn't going to do anything here in terms of making changes. Unless you work in the field of mental health and have influence in how things are diagnosed?

You can see that people in this forum know a lot of many things about PTSD and other related diagnoses. A very knowledgeable crowd that I have learnt a lot from. Are your questions here to learn things from other people? Or are you asking questions so that you yourself can give the answers and aren't actually asking people questions for their responses?


Thanks @joeylittle and @Sideways . I got a couple smiles. Maybe I’ll read “trauma and recovery” again. I have it right here next to the bed.

To me it’s a lot more about if or not I feel suicidal than than what the criteria is for the condition causing it but I’m not being flip. It’s really interesting on one level to debate/discuss what the psychologists and psychiatrists say. It also is necessary if you have to have a label. What works, what doesn’t and so on. I guess I think on some level the therapist needs to be an expert not me, but lots of survivors become therapists, no wonder. I’ve been reading Jungs collective works or rather listening on YouTube.

So thanks to everyone.


Is this true? I can’t find the source as it was eons ago, but I remember reading a source that said most people with CPTSD also have PTSD, but not all of them do
Yes, you must meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD in order to have CPTSD.

This is the only thing I could find. For some reason I couldn't find the exact ICD-10 diagnosis criteria but Anthony did a great article or thread on here about it which I believe has the ICD-10 diagnostic criteria in it.

People with Complex PTSD also meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, Read more: Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria

ETA: Here's Anthony's write up (which is very in depth about CPTSD): Understand complex ptsd (cptsd)


but didn't find anything on how you need have regular PTSD at core, and then C-PTSD as an overlay.
Ok. Say it out loud. complex POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. It is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is defined by the word complex. The fact that it is PTSD is in the name of it!!! It's not an overlay, it is a type of PTSD. I had a complex displaced fracture of my leg, which means I had several fractures that moved. I have complex post traumatic stress disorder, which means my post traumatic stress disorder is complex.
then regular PTSD requires the bone snap off like struck by lightning: We need an extreme traumatic event.
No the analogy no longer fits. Today I will have eggs and toast for breakfast. I will have fresh, free range eggs, which are still eggs, with my whole wheat toast, which is still toast. I am not discussing the etiology, I'm discussing your lack of understanding of the diagnosis complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It starts there, then you go on to state the obvious over and over. If you gain an understanding of the diagnosis, you will see that you are making something simple into something that it's not.

I think most of us can agree that we don't understand the point of what you are saying. It is all old news, and you are presenting it like it's new or different. It's not. Oh, and Wikipedia is not a scholarly source.
Last edited:


Policy Enforcement
I aim to be courteous and polite when I reply, ascribing others the best intentions, so I am surprised this thread has caused ire. But I'll summarize the discussion we've had, making it easier to see where we talked past each other.

I made the thread to discuss whether DPDR F48.1 should be seen as a sibling to PTSD and PTSD w/DPDR and C-PTSD. In my fifth post I had a verbatim quote from the Mayo Clinic on how DPDR can be released by «Severe trauma, during childhood or as an adult, such as experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event or abuse». I feel I made a good case for how these disorders are related, and I feel we had a good discussion on it. Thanks especially to Sideways.

(@Survivor3 The thread's title, I'll admit that tangled things. I thought since this isn't a personal question (i.e. it's not about me), it's about the grouping of disorders, I'd make that clear by adding to the thread title it's a scientific question asked, not a personal question. Anyways, the title was unclear. Mea culpa, Survivor3)

The threads topic then moved on to C-PTSD. That's where we stand now.

It is my clear impression that C-PTSD could arise after prolonged trauma where there needn't be single extreme events: the camel’s back may break after prolonged traumatic duress, resulting in C-PTSD. This is also how I interpret the definition of C-PTSD as currently laid out by Wikipedia. Whereas in the definition of ordinary PTSD I see single extreme events as a core feature, thus if C-PTSD needn't require a single extreme event (to read the sentence as I intend it, the emphasis should be put here—not on the number (whether high or low), but on the existence of extreme events) that they would be overlapping disorders.

Contrary to that, if C-PTSD requires all the diagnostic features of regular PTSD and then some, then they would be stacked atop each other. Charts are often better than words, so here's the two positions laid out:

So. Someone can be bullied for years on end, without having single extreme events. In such case the left chart is the way to see the relation between C-PTSD and PTSD. I am leaning towards the left chart, without having an inflexible position.

Here's where the kerfuffle came. @DharmaGirl, You wrote a solid post referencing ICD-11. You made the case that C-PTSD must be stacked atop regular PTSD. I.e. if you don't meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, you can't get a C-PTSD diagnosis. Me and Teasel held the position this needn't be so. I wrote that forum members aren't against her, regardless of what position they hold on diagnostic matters, as she seemed upset, and @Friday wrote a solid post on how you may very well have PTSD initially but deal with the trauma and thus be left with C-PTSD. Crisp and clear logic. I liked the post. I think everyone did.

In hindsight I see there's been plenty misunderstandings. I think that your intention @DharmaGirl with bringing up C-PTSD being stacked atop PTSD was not to say things like bullying isn't enough for a C-PTSD diagnosis if case it lacks single extreme events. But I may be off. I think you meant the opposite now. My view is anyhow that prolonged duress over time (such as bullying) should qualify for a C-PTSD even without single extreme traumatic events. What's the forum's opinion on this?

I think it's a worthwhile question, both what would constitute C-PTSD in ICD-11, since it seems they are narrowing the definition now, and what they think is the best definition for C-PTSD. Such definitions change over time, and isn't written in stone. I feel that if C-PTSD doesn't require to meet the diagnostic criteria of PTSD, then they are overlapping disorders (i.e. they meet the definition currently laid out on Wikipedia) rather than being purely stacked atop (i.e. the way many interpret ICD-11).

(PS. You @Survivor3 asked about me. I tried to make this thread not about me. But since I answered you yes, no, yes, I see was too quick to read your question when replying, my answers were to 1) Have you suffered from life threatening trauma 2) sexual abuse 3) Are you under professional care of a therapist or doctor.)


Policy Enforcement
Ok, I'm out. You are not making sense to me.

It's a simple question. Do you subscribe to this definition of the etiology of C-PTSD:
  • a psychological disorder that can develop in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape.
Or do you subscribe to a definition where what is laid out above would not suffice to use the C-PTSD diagnosis.
Not open for further replies.