Double Abuse is responsible for escalating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder into Complex PTSD, a much more difficult and serious form of trauma to heal. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the result of either an acute event or cumulative trauma, usually via troubled relationships, which does not get processed or resolved (G. Erwin, 2000). Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Complex PTSD) is defined as ongoing psychological stress injury, which results from repeated trauma over which the victim has little or no control, and from which there is no real or perceived hope of escape (see www.outofthestorm.website).
Author and psychotherapist, Belleruth Naparstek, found in her research of over 70 studies on trauma that individuals who escaped suffering from PTSD were those who were believed, supported, respected, and even exalted for their sacrifice and experience. According to Naparstek, one thing is certain: victims and survivors of trauma deserve the utmost respect.
If this is true, what happens when the opposite takes place?
The cost to the victim is added cruelty.
Trauma sets in motion serious emotional and physiological reactions that can themselves be debilitating or terrorizing. This means trauma goes on to negatively affect a person’s physical health and psychological wellbeing. There is a biochemical and involuntary muscular skeletal chain of events that can result in an unusual number of medical problems. Belleruth Naparstek explains it this way: “PTSD presents some sort of conflated disturbance in the regulation of our neurobiological [the mind], endocrinological [hormonal, developmental, sleep, mood, sexual function, growth, metabolism, and tissue function] and immunological systems” (Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal).
We also love this quote from Judith Herman’s renowned work on trauma.