Complex trauma leads to a specific type of PTSD, known as complex PTSD, which will be listed in the 2018 edition of International Classification of Diseases for the first time.
Complex PTSD applies to responses to extremely threatening or horrific events that are extreme, prolonged or repetitive, from which a person finds it difficult or impossible to escape. Examples include repeated childhood sexual or physical abuse, and prolonged domestic violence.
Generally, PTSD involves persistent mental and emotional stress as a result of injury or severe psychological shock. It typically involves disturbed sleep, traumatic flashbacks and dulled responses to others and the outside world.
But people with complex PTSD also have problems regulating their emotions, believe they are worthless, have deep feelings of shame, guilt or failure, and have ongoing difficulties sustaining relationships and feeling close to others