trauma: recent publications

CPTSD Named New Diagnosis Category for Complex Trauma

July 15, 2022Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) is a new diagnosis category in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).The sibling diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), CPTSD is defined as “a severe mental disorder that emerges in response to traumatic life events” in a new study published in The Lancet. The study says the disorder is prevalent in 1% to 8% of the general population and up to half of patients at mental health facilities.

1For the study, an international team aligned with the University of Zurich summarized CPTSD symptoms, which features “three core post-traumatic symptom clusters, along with chronic and pervasive disturbances in emotion regulation, identity, and relationships,” the researchers said.“Individuals with complex PTSD typically have sustained or have multiple exposures to trauma, such as childhood abuse and domestic or community violence,” they added.PTSD is one of the most widely known responses to trauma. However, experts have long recognized that some trauma victims or survivors exhibit a broader pattern of psychological changes, most commonly after prolonged or repetitive events, such as exposure to war, sexual abuse, domestic violence, or torture.

They have called for a separate diagnosis of CPTSD for decades. 2At least 29 studies from more than 15 countries have documented the differences between CPTSD and PTSD.3A 2018 report published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice says, “Complex PTSD, or developmental PTSD, refers to the constellation of symptoms that may result from prolonged, chronic exposure to traumatic experiences, especially in childhood, as opposed to PTSD, which is more typically

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