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Having PTSD from Your Parents

Having PTSD from Your Parents

Although post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is most commonly caused by experiences such as war, violent events and physical abuse there are other less extreme cases of PTSD. People can develop issues of trauma in situations where they are raised by an alcoholic parent, neglected as a child or emotionally bullied by their caregivers. Poor parenting can be another more subtle, insidious cause of PTSD as their children become adults.

When someone develops trauma issues from their parents or family members it is often known as C-PTSD or complex trauma. It is a type of traumatic experience that occurs repeatedly and accumulates over a period of time until the person develops symptoms of PTSD. Parents that are verbally abusive, neglectful or have addictions may cause trauma in their children over and over through their behavior.

Complex trauma caused by family issues can lead to problems with relationships as feelings of abandonment may be triggered by certain behavior. Adults who have developed complex trauma will often struggle with many of the same feelings that they had when they were children and were affected by their parent’s actions. They may become fearful of being neglected or harmed by their partner because of their traumatic past.

Even though violent events are what typically cause PTSD, any circumstance in which the victim feels frightened, overwhelmed and helpless can cause issues of trauma. When someone is traumatized especially early in life, it can affect them as they grow up and negatively impact their lives in adulthood. It is important for adults to get treatment for complex trauma when they start to experience symptoms.

Therapy, medication and self-care can all help reduce symptoms of PTSD. It is helpful for patients to talk about their relationship with their parents in therapy to gain some insight into why they experienced trauma and how it is affecting them now.