What is Complex Trauma or Developmental Trauma you might ask? That is a very good question and hopefully the answer will give you more insight on your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It is trauma that is complicated and specific to childhood trauma. Sounds pretty straight, forward right? Well then why have you not heard of it you again may ask?
Let me ask you some questions first. Do you struggle with irritability or anger? Do small things make your emotions go from 0 to 1000 in no time? Maybe you have a difficult time concentrating, or have racing thoughts. If you have sought help before, have you been given a diagnosis of ADHD or Bi-Polar Disorder? If so, have those pills prescribed helped? I am assuming not much if you are still seeking treatment.
Maybe the above doesn’t quite resonate with you. Maybe you can relate to issues around self-loathing. Do you try to suppress those painful feelings through cutting, substance use or an eating disorder? Do you have a long history of suicidal thoughts or attempts? Maybe you have a history of intense and unsuccessful relationships? Does the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder ring a bell?
If you have any of these symptoms and have, unfortunately, suffered trauma in childhood you will not fit the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD, as it is more commonly called, really is helpful treating people with trauma that has occurred in adulthood. Where does that leave you? Tragically, it leaves you mistreated. There is nothing wrong with your brain chemicals as a Bi-Polar diagnosis would suggest and your personality is not flawed as a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis would lead you to believe.
The real problem is your childhood. In childhood, we are supposed to learn that the ones caring for us are safe. We are developing our sense of worth and self-esteem which helps us our relationships down the road. We learn to manage our feelings and our emotions through safe and supportive parenting which help us tolerate disappointment. People, men and women alike, who have experience chronic and severe abuse whether it be emotional, physical, sexual or neglect will be impacted later in life. You don’t just get over it or make it go away with a pill. This will affect your ability to have healthy relationships, manage your emotions and have a lasting impact on self-esteem.
You are seeking treatment because your life is feeling really pretty crappy and out of control. If you are connecting to the above then you are in the right place.