Many people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience blackouts, among other symptoms. These blackouts may include flashbacks to a previous time in the person’s life, or they may involve a dissociation from reality. While these experiences may be scary in the moment, you can control and even prevent them with the right treatment plan.

This helps to create a safe space to practice and facilitate healing. CPTSD may develop from trauma inflicted by those who were meant to care for or protect you. This could include family members, close family friends, teachers, coaches, or religious leaders. If you live with C-PTSD, you might find that certain emotions or situations can bring on intense symptoms related to your trauma. You may also have trouble remembering parts of the traumatic experience or forget it happened at all.


For example, you may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences. Or you may see a report on the news about a sexual assault and feel overcome by memories of your own assault. To compliment your work in talk therapy, consider body-focused self-care, like tai chi, weight lifting, or dancing. Your life experiences may have taught you to turn off your relationship with your body, and these activities can help bring you back into it. CPTSD stems from trauma that occurs as a result of repeated or ongoing traumatic experiences, usually over the course of several months or years.

But the American Psychological Association (APA), which publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DMS-5), doesn’t recognize CPTSD as a distinct condition. The DSM-5 does list a sub-type of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) called dissociative PTSD that seems to encompass CPTSD symptoms. If you or someone you care about has been exposed to repeated trauma and are struggling to cope, it’s important to seek help from a therapist who is familiar with PTSD. In addition to asking your primary care physician for a referral, there are many online resources that can help you find mental health providers in your area who treat PTSD. When the underlying trauma is repeated and ongoing, however, some mental health professionals make a distinction between PTSD and its more intense sibling, complex PTSD (C-PTSD).

Enduring Personality Change After Catastrophic Experience

The events are usually prolonged or repetitive and escape from the situation is impossible or dangerous. For example, two organizations that publish professional reference books can ptsd cause blackouts have different opinions about CPTSD. In 2019, The World Health Organization (WHO) listed CPTSD in its 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).