Mental health professionals have recognized that PTSD may not only result from a one-time, immediate disturbance. According to the Journal of Taumatic Stress, Complex PTSD results from:
“the psychological impact of subordination to coercive control and has many common features, (with PTSD), whether it occurs within the public sphere of politics or within the private sphere of sexual and domestic relations.”
What is Coercive Control?
Coercive control is present in all forms of domestic abuse whether violent or non-violent, and can include manipulation through minimization, denial, lies, promises, excuses, rationalizations, blame, sexual abuse, reproductive coercion and a host of additional behaviors.
PTSD is an alarmed state.
Just as you would never tell a soldier, “It’s all in your head,” or “PTSD is not real,” one should never tell a survivor of the behaviors that create complex PTSD that their symptoms aren’t real either. To recover, sufferers need to reset their self-regulation. In a nutshell, Psychology Today provides these seven steps to control complex PTSD:
- Concentrate on the important and positive things you value in your immediate life.
- Be aware of what triggers your fear or sense of danger.
- Try to focus on positive emotions like joy, hope, pride, love, etc.
- Distinguish between the powerful alarm you feel and the more sustaining beliefs that are part of your core values.
- Define your goals so that you act in accordance with defensive or offensive awareness from your brain’s defense system, and your core values.
- Make choices that help you achieve sustaining goals rather than using defensive options unless your survival, or the survival of others is threatened.
- Contribute to the well-being of yourself and others.
6 thoughts on “Complex PTSD- psychological impact of sexual assault by fraud”
I hope the steps to relieve your symptoms can help you restore balance in your life!
Anyone deceived, coerced, or otherwise into compromising their body is devastated by this brutally abusive act. I am a male who was deceived into believing I was loved and my “wife” and wanted to be with me in Canada. My “spidy” senses told something was wrong, 3 years into living together in Canada (6 years into the marriage) I discovered she was living a dual life with another man (had been for 5 years) and I was supporting the two of them in her home country before I could bring her to Canada. The “long burn” or the “short burn” cause untold damage which takes years to recover from. Hang in there everyone who is a victim, you will get past it, but it will take time.
My experience of PTSD and recovery from the paralyzing emotions came when I realized I had it from Immigration fraud. Anytime a memory of the time I was married (any past event, significant or not) would take me to tears and I would feel as though a loved one had died. It was happening until I realized I wasn’t able to process these memories as normal memories. Working on that premise, I was able to recognize the effect and when I felt a significant memory coming, I would brace myself and do my best to “process” it as normally as possible. It still happens, but the effect has become far less devastating as time has passed.
Thanks for your insight!
Recognizing and facing the issues that created the problem can help. But we also must be aware that we can over react to perceived harm that affects our day-to-day living because we’re hyper sensitive. It takes effort to tolerate and have patience with people around us. That’s the hidden danger in PTSD. It not only keeps us reacting to the pain we experienced, but also to pain we fear we may experience.
Great post again Joyce. I have Complex PTSD from being physically raped and it is something I live with daily. It’s horrible to deal with
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