Can you develop complex PTSD through emotional (but non-physical) childhood abuse?Kristen Craren, Owner of Craren Family Services, LLC (2

YES, YES

This is actually the kind of PTSD that goes most unrecognized by lay people because it is so insidious.

Childhood emotional abuse of any kind is repeated little by little over time and over time it creates negative thoughts in a person as they develop more complex neural networks. These negative thoughts become a pervasive part of life.

You end up with triggers just like a war vet would except you don’t hide under the table on the fourth of July. Someone who has PTSD from childhood emotional abuse gets triggered from love relationship dynamics and other subtle patterns in their other relationships.

It’s exhausting. These adults are often a combo of: hyper-vigilant, anxious, angry, depressed, confused and have a hard time maintaining relationships.

Some of these folks become therapists to ease the confusion and learn how to function. Then they go teach others!

The best approach to PTSD that I know is EMDR and possibly brain spotting. If you need a referral for EMDR in your area you can search for the EMDR group in your area or go to Psychology Today to find a clinician by specialty.

EMDR stands for eye moment desensitization and reprocessing. You can read on my website about it if you like:

EMDR | Kristen Craren, MEd, LPC, NBCC