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May 8, 2024

What Are The Types of PTSD?

We'll uncover the various responses to trauma and related diagnostic terms, including uncomplicated PTSD, complex PTSD, comorbid PTSD, atypical PTSD, and secondary PTSD.

Sofia Noori, MD, MPH
What Are The Types of PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It is a complex disorder that affects individuals in various ways, and it is important to understand that the various responses to traumas can lead to different subtypes of PTSD, such as uncomplicated PTSD, complex PTSD, comorbid PTSD, atypical PTSD, and secondary PTSD.

Uncomplicated PTSD

Uncomplicated PTSD is one of the most common subtypes of PTSD and is characterized by symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, nightmares, flashbacks, and avoidance of reminders related to the trauma. Individuals with Uncomplicated PTSD may also experience hyperarousal symptoms, such as irritability, difficulty sleeping, and exaggerated startle response.

Unlike other subtypes of PTSD, Uncomplicated PTSD does not involve additional features or symptoms. It is important to note that the term uncomplicated does not imply that this subtype of PTSD is less severe or less impactful. It simply refers to the absence of additional comorbid conditions or complex features.

Complex PTSD

Complex PTSD, also known as Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS), is a subtype of PTSD that occurs as a result of prolonged and repeated trauma. Individuals with Complex PTSD may have experienced childhood abuse, domestic violence, or long-term captivity, which can lead to a more severe and complex presentation of symptoms.

In addition to the symptoms of Uncomplicated PTSD, individuals with Complex PTSD may also exhibit difficulties in emotional regulation, distorted self-perception, difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships, and somatic symptoms. The complex nature of this subtype of PTSD requires a comprehensive and specialized treatment approach.

Comorbid PTSD

Comorbid PTSD refers to the co-occurrence of PTSD with other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, or personality disorders. Individuals with Comorbid PTSD may experience the symptoms of both disorders simultaneously, which can complicate the diagnosis and treatment process.

The presence of comorbid conditions can exacerbate the symptoms of PTSD and make it more challenging to manage. It is essential for healthcare professionals to conduct a thorough assessment to identify and address all co-occurring mental health conditions in order to provide effective treatment.

How Can CPT Therapy Help In Treating PTSD

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is an evidence-based therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating PTSD. CPT focuses on identifying and challenging maladaptive thoughts and beliefs related to the traumatic event. By addressing and reframing these thoughts, individuals can experience a reduction in PTSD symptoms and an improvement in overall well-being.

CPT therapy typically involves a structured approach and can be conducted individually or in a group setting. It aims to help individuals develop coping strategies, improve their emotional regulation skills, and promote a sense of empowerment and control over their lives. CPT therapy can be a valuable tool in the treatment of PTSD and can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals affected by this disorder.

Facing PTSD can feel isolating, but at Nema, you or your loved one wonโ€™t have to do so alone. Our evidence-based treatment is tailored for quick and effective healing, enveloped in the warmth and understanding that every trauma survivor deserves. Donโ€™t hesitate to schedule a free consultation here to see how we can help.