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If you go through a highly traumatic experience, you can develop posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Every year, thousands of Americans are diagnosed with this disorder. A smaller number of people may develop a condition called complex PTSD, or CPTSD. The two illnesses differ in several ways. However, both require treatment in a well-designed PTSD treatment center.

A variety of treatments can play a role in PTSD treatment. Some of these treatments are in widespread use. However, others are only found in a few PTSD programs. At Springfield Wellness, we offer a unique treatment called NAD+ therapy. This cutting-edge technique promotes recovery by correcting a key chemical imbalance inside your brain.

The Basics of CPTSD Vs. PTSD

There are a variety of similarities and differences when discussing CPTSD vs. PTSD.


Post-traumatic stress disorder has an official definition created by the American Psychiatric Association. Doctors in the United States follow this definition when diagnosing the illness. You must have harmful, life-disrupting symptoms at least 30 days after trauma exposure to receive a diagnosis. In addition, your symptoms must fall into each of these four different categories:

  • Unwanted thoughts, memories, or dreams about a traumatic event
  • A compelling urge to avoid any trauma reminders
  • Changes in your everyday thinking and emotional responses
  • Unusual levels of emotional reactivity and jitteriness

Often, PTSD occurs in the aftermath of a single traumatic event.


Complex PTSD does not have an official definition. Doctors in the 1980s first identified the proposed condition. These doctors believed that the official PTSD definition is incomplete. Specifically, it does not consider the outcomes of people who go through long-term traumatic events. These people may develop more severe mental health issues. That includes symptoms not included in the PTSD definition.

Causes of CPTSD

What situations can lead to CPTSD rather than PTSD? One significant factor is the length of trauma exposure. The longer your exposure lasts, the more likely it is that you will develop CPTSD. This exposure may occur during childhood. However, it may also happen during adulthood.

When someone experiences a traumatic event, it leaves the affected person in a captive state. That state can include actual physical and emotional captivity. In either case, you feel unable to escape what’s happening to you. In children, these conditions often occur with sexual or physical abuse. However, in adults, they often coincide with ongoing domestic violence.

How long must trauma exposure last? There is no set timeline, so your exposure may occur over a period of weeks or months, or it may last for years.

CPTSD Symptoms

What are the potential symptoms of CPTSD? The illness can produce effects such as:

  • Loss of control over your emotions
  • A diminished sense of personal reality
  • Alienation from other people
  • Extreme isolation
  • Lack of any sense of meaning or purpose

In addition, you may have higher risks for other serious problems. That includes additional forms of mental illness. It also can lead to substance abuse and addiction.

Learn More at Springfield Wellness Center

At Springfield Wellness Center, we understand the potential impact of PTSD and CPTSD. If you have questions about either of these conditions, we can answer them as we provide an innovative approach to PTSD treatment: NAD+ therapy. This therapy aims to restore your levels of the brain chemical nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD. You need adequate levels of this chemical to support a range of crucial functions. When those levels fall, problems can occur. On the list of those potential problems is worsened PTSD symptoms. Along with our other treatment options, NAD+ therapy supports an effective recovery. For more information, call us today at 844.334.4727 or fill out our online form.