10 Signs You Could Be Living With Complex PTSD …….and Not Know It

Share this Therapy Blog:

Complex PTSD is a form of PTSD where you, mainly as a child, experienced prolong trauma. This could result in mental health issues but many of us are quite functional where living with Complex PTSD but we are successful in most areas of our lives

You may on the surface look fine. you have a great job, your own house, the call on two Holidays a year. to most of your family and friends you really have your s***t together. The problem is that you know differently. 

You know that things aren’t that good for you. You try and try, but you can never feel at peace as your behaviors, anxieties, and emotions often get in the way.

You would have experienced some distress or trauma in your childhood and feel that you have worked so hard to make a good life for yourself and not be a ‘victim’. The problem is that those behaviors that you have learned as a child to survive what you experienced, could still be affecting your life today.

This blog will provide 11 signs you could be living with Complex PTSD.


Signs you are Living with Complex PTSD

1. You’re a workaholic

You tend to choose jobs deliberately, that are impossible to do, manic / or highly stressful. You may find that you are bored if you are not in highly stressful situations. Don’t know how to relax even during evenings, weekends and holidays.


2. You’re a perfectionist

and you:

  • self-sabotage, when you think things are not to scratch,
  • have imposter syndrome.
  • You feel that no matter how much you do, how much you learn, how many qualifications you have it’s never good enough
  • rather not do something if you think it won’t be perfect


3. You are a people pleaser

and you

  • You care for everyone else to your detriment, but this feels good for you
  • Often let others getaway (including your own children) with poor behaviour
  • Spoilt your children and now they mistreat you
  • feel secretly angry when people don’t reciprocate the kindness you have shown them
  • feel treated like a doormat and you are sick of it.
  • get so upset and anxious when you feel that you have hurt someone
  • feel that your self-care is caring for everyone else


4. You comfort eat or drink too much


  • alcohol or food can squash difficult emotions
  • It helps you detach
  • alcohol is a problem for you and the other people in your life
  • you drink to feel confident in social situations
  • it is the only way to help you feel relaxed
  • no one knows the full extent of your habits because you hide it and you feel so ashamed of it
  • you tend to binge drink ie you drink excessively more at the weekends or at certain times of the month or year


5. Certain people trigger you

  • don’t know what it is about certain people but they bring out the worst in you
  • just feel really uncomfortable around certain people and you don’t know why
  • feel really anxious when you are mistreated by one type of person more than another type i.e. you may feel more anxious or angry if say a tall, thin white man or woman in
  • leadership positions mistreat you as opposed to any other people
  • “freeze” when certain people speak to you in a particular way.


6. You find it really difficult to fit in with others as you

  • feel that others don’t like you or that you don’t like them
  • worry that others are talking about you constantly and taking the Mick.
  • have social anxiety over socialising with other people.


7. Relationships are a struggle for you

  • find it difficult getting close to somebody allow yourself to feel vulnerable
  • avoid relationships and getting close to others
  • Even when you find someone great, you second guess your decisions often resulting in sabotaging a good relationship
  • feel anxious about your partner and the relationship
  • you have never found Mr or Mrs right


8. You just don’t like yourself

  • you cannot look at yourself in the mirror and say you like yourself
  • instead of understanding that you make mistakes, you feel that you are completely flawed
  • you feel that you are really ugly
  • you hate your body
  • you are overly critical of yourself and sometimes others


9. You have an amazing poker face

  • You don’t show your emotions, never too happy, never too sad
  • Certain emotions i.e. anger is a no-no for you
  • no matter how you feel inside you put a smile on your face
  • to the outside world, you’re okay
  • what goes on outside doesn’t reflect what goes on inside
  • no one knows how you feel


10. ‘Minor issues tend to stress you out

  • things can really stress you out and make you feel anxious.
  • you tend to blow things way out of proportion
  • you overreact to inconsequential things but knowing that just makes you feel more anxious
  • You find it difficult to cope with your emotions

What to do next

Also, you know deep down that your past is still affecting you in your life now. The advantage of knowing about Complex PTSD is that you can move past it. You can really do this and make a better life for yourself.

Hope you enjoyed this article, let me know what you think by commenting down below or by messaging me.

Don’t forget I also run my private practice, where I can help you work through some of these issues

Want to learn How to Start Your Self-care Routine? Click Here


NEED ONLINE THERAPY? I offer a free 15-minute consultation for you to discuss your needs. Click here to learn more and get started.

Follow me on Instagram @dawn_croydonfowler

Get on the List

Do you have a Toxic, Emotionally Immature, Narcissist, Co-dependent, or Parent with an Addiction? Have you struggled with their behavior for most of your life? Maybe your Childhood wasn’t the best but you want to make sense of why it still affects you now.

You may find yourself struggling in so many ways.

I am an experienced and qualified Online-Therapist based in the United Kingdom helping you on your road to healing from your Toxic Parents. 

Healing is Possible! I’m here to walk with you on your Journey

Read Latest Articles from Dawn’s Blog