More American Vets have died after returning home and then suffering with PTSD and Complex PTSD, than have died on the battlefields of recent U.S. Wars. Suicide is not uncommon.
PTSD and Complex PTSD is not a burden that just returning American Vets have to deal with. Victims of Narcissistic Abuse could also become afflicted with PTSD and Complex PTSD.
The legalization of Medical Cannabis is removing the stigma of using Cannabis, a naturally occurring plant, as part of a Medical Treatment. Medical Cannabis may become a recommended treatment for PTSD and Complex PTSD. It has been used successfully by individuals, but because it was “illegal”, Researchers in the past could not do Medical Studies using Cannabis as a treatment protocol.
The FDA may approve a Research Study using Medical Cannabis but the Researchers must get the Cannabis from another agency named NIDA, which controls the one single U.S. Government source of Medical Cannabis. NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) can put a full stop to any FDA approved Study using Medical Cannabis. Hence, in the US there have been precious few Medical Studies on the benefits of Medical Cannabis as a treatment. There are huge numbers of personal accounts of Cannabis being used to successfully treat for example Brain Cancer, Leukemia and PTSD. But the real life truth is called Anecdotal Evidence, which has little value to Government agencies which look for Peer Reviewed Medical Studies which could not be done because Government agencies had Cannabis officially classified as being illegal.
In the video below, Dr. Sue Sisley speaks about Treating PTSD with Medical Cannabis.
Video is courtesy of the Cannabis Saves Lives! YouTube channel
Updated yet again on Apr 28 2017.
Stockholm Syndrome (Trauma Bonding) is said to keep those being abused, in the abusive relationship. They cannot leave their abuser.
I am posting this because I believe there is something to learn from the Rat Cage / Rat Park experiments.
I believe that victims of relationship abuse are stuck in the equivalent of an empty Rat Cage. They feel alone and not connected to anyone who cares about them. They may have been isolated from Family and Friends by physically moving to a different city. Abusers instinctively seem to know that if they can isolate someone, then they can control them and physically or mentally abuse them without outside interference. Again without a support structure, the victim is alone as in the isolated Rat Cage.
The drug in this scenario is the Abuser. Just as Rats isolated in a Rat Cage became addicted, so do the Abuse Victims. If the Victim does leave, then they could suffer from PTSD or worse. They will constantly think about the Abuser and often return to their Abuser, even after horrific physical abuse. In my opinion, this is highly similar to addiction.
Further proof of this concept comes from the same Rat Cage / Rat Park experiment. When the isolated and heavily addicted rats are moved out of an isolated environment into a Rat Park with lots of other rats and lots of stimulating things to do and play with, they lose their addiction.
Going further, Victims of abuse need to move into a Rat Park environment. They need to be among people who care. Friends and family who will morally support them. They need to also have fun. Being abused is “NOT FUN”. I suspect that once the victim is moved into a Rat Park type environment, then their addiction to the abuser could dissipate without symptoms of PTSD etc.
That brings up the lack of such a Rat Park environment for Abuse Victims. They should be surrounded by people who care, people who will try to help them. People who will talk to them. One common theme from Victims going thru forms of Therapy is that they cry their eyes out during the therapy sessions. They have no one to talk to. They feel that no one cares. Like the Rats in the isolated Rat cage. The Rats become addicted to the point of destroying themselves. Victims become addicted to their Abuser. For many victims this addiction destroys them. In my opinion, the Rat Park experiment shows the need to create a Human equivalent of a Rat Park for Victims of Abuse, so that victims can end their “Addiction” to their Abuser.
We have Women’s Shelters filled with women seeking help but percentage wise rather few “Helpers”. We have Therapy, which costs money that the abuse Victim may not have. No money, equals No Help. We have Public Housing, but with long waiting lists. We have legal aid for people convicted of a crime, but Victims of Relationship Abuse may not “qualify”. Society has a disorienting and disconnected patchwork of supposed help and so Victims cannot get away. It may not just be Trauma Bonding which is holding them back. As a society, we do not have an all inclusive support system, like a Rat Park human equivalent environment, to help Abuse Victims if they want to leave their Abuser, Heal and Recover. So they remain “stuck” in Abusive Relationships.
I have received email comments suggesting that it may be the Victim’s lack of confidence to express their feeling that could be at fault. A Victim’s typical inability to establish and enforce clear boundaries is in my opinion, a Learned Survival Mechanism. During early childhood, we learn how to survive in our home environment. Some kids are lucky and are born into loving and caring families. Other kids are not so lucky and have to adapt and learn behaviors to survive. That applies to Disordered Individuals also. One’s early childhood helps to form the future Adult. The work of the late Alice Miller readily comes to mind. I have referred to Abysmal Parenting or the lack of Parenting as being the primary cause of adult dysfunction. Many a Narcissist was not raised by their Birth Mother for example. On the other hand, when a Victim is physically being beaten Black and Blue, IMHO clearly the Abuser is at fault and “not” the Victim.
Video is courtesy of the Alice Miller YouTube channel
There was a video posted here of an English couple. The Husband gave his wife a couple of black eyes one night. The Police showed up and his attitude was as if nothing wrong happened. He called out to his wife and asked if she wanted to speak to the Police. Thankfully the Police had body video recorders running.
I have a friend who was isolated to a different country by a very Disordered Individual. Once isolated, the abuse became physical. One time she was beaten so badly that she ended up being hospitalized for months. It was not her inability to speak up for herself that is to blame. If you start to speak up for yourself to a very disordered individual, you could very well be beaten Black and Blue. IMHO the Abuser is at fault and they are totally responsible for their behavior. View the video in the link shown above. Getting two black eyes was not the Victim’s fault.
I believe that when one learns about the Red Flags and if one starts to see multiple Red Flags on a consistent basis then one is able to get a better idea of who one is interacting with. It has nothing to do with putting labels on people before they do anything wrong. If one does not take heed of those Red Flags and falls prey to an Abuser, then it’s too late. Yes, people are out there who abuse other people. Yes, there are people with Codependent Traits and lots of Empathy, who seem to be attracted to those who abuse. Those who will abuse others also seem to be rather attracted to those who have lots of Empathy and Codependent traits. People call someone an Abuser after they have abused someone. It is not a matter of innocent until proven guilty. They get called that label because they have abused their victim. All abuse is bad, but some abuse is horrific.
I’m posting this for everyone to think about it. The videos below give more details about Dr. Bruce Alexander and his Rat Park experiment. BTW that Rat Park experiment has been repeated many times, with the same results. So it has been scientifically proven.
Video is courtesy of the MinuteVideos YouTUbe channel
Video is courtesy of the Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell YouTube channel
Video is courtesy of The Agenda with Steve Paikin YouTube channel
Narcissists will try to Gaslight the victim that their actions were not abusive or that any problems in the relationship are totally the fault of the Victim. In the privacy of their shared home, the Disordered Individual will not give a 2nd thought to verbally and emotionally abusing their victim. But in public, their behavior changes to project a false image that are caring and loving, while the Victim is made out to be the abuser in the relationship. Crazy making is an apt description. Victims could end up with PTSD and Complex PTSD as a result of being exposed to long term Emotional Abuse.
Video is courtesy of the Kati Morton YouTube channel.
If you have come from an abusive relationship and ended up with Complex PTSD symptoms, Narcissists would happily feed you lines.
If you have gotten over Complex PTSD, the suggestion in the video is to consider staying single for at least a year. That means do not date anyone. Individuals who have had Complex PTSD make perfect targets for Manipulative Narcissists.
Stay single and continue working with a great Therapist.
.Video is courtesy of the What’s Wrong … with Kris and Steve YouTube channel
In the video below Dr. Frank Ochberg, an expert on traumatic stress explains both Chronic PTSD and Complex PTSD. He also discusses the differences between them.
Video is courtesy of the Gift From Within YouTube channel
What is Complex PTSD?
Complex PTSD, is the result of multiple traumatic events occurring over a period of time, often referred to as “complex trauma”. Causes include multiple incidents of child abuse, particularly child physical abuse and child sexual abuse, prolonged domestic violence, concentration camp experiences, torture, slavery, and genocide campaigns. Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is not a diagnosis in the DSM-5 psychiatric manual, released in 2013, but is planned for inclusion in the ICD-11 diagnostic manual, due for release in 2017. 
Complex PTSD Symptoms
- Interpersonal problems includes social and interpersonal avoidance (avoiding relationships), feeling distance or cut off from others, and never feeling close to another person.
- Negative self-concept involves feelings of worthlessness and guilt. While survivors of PTSD may feel “not myself”, a survivor of Complex PTSD may feel no sense of self at all or experience a changed personality; a few may feel as if they are no longer human at all (Lovelace and McGrady, 1980; Timerman, 1981).:385-386. Believing yourself to be “contaminated, guilty, and evil” is commonly reported by survivors of Complex PTSD. A fragmented identity is common, with Dissociative Identity Disorder occurring in some people. :386
- Interpersonal sensitivity includes having feelings which are easily hurt, anger/temper outbursts and difficulties with interpersonal relationships. Complex PTSD is normally the result of interpersonal trauma, the long duration of the trauma and the control of the perpetrator(s) prevents people from expressing anger or rage at the perpetrator(s) during the trauma; anger and rage both at perpetrators and the self can only be fully expressed after the trauma ends. Prolonged abuse normally leads to a loss of previously-held beliefs, with feelings of “being forsaken by both man and God”. :382,386
- Affect dysregulation means being unable to manage your own emotions, and is often referred to as “difficulties with emotional regulation”. The unexpressed anger and internalized rage resulting from the trauma may lead to self-destructive or reckless/risk taking behaviors, e.g., self-harm and/or suicide attempts, which may be driven by a sense of self-hatred. :382, 
- People with Complex PTSD also meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, which are:
- a persistent sense of threat, e.g. hypervigilance and being easily startled
- avoiding reminders of the traumas,
- and re-experiencing or reliving the traumas, for example flashbacks and intrusive thoughts about the trauma.
In addition to the symptoms above, survivors of prolonged child abuse have an increased risk of both self-injury and repeated victimization, for example relationships with abusive people, sexual harassment, and rape. :387
Judith Lewis-Herman, who first proposed Complex PTSD as a separate diagnosis, stated:
Observers who have never experienced prolonged terror, and who have no understanding of coercive methods of control, often presume that they would show greater psychological resistance than the victim in similar circumstances. The survivor’s difficulties are all too easily attributed to underlying character problems, even when the trauma is known. When the trauma is kept secret, as is frequently the case in sexual and domestic violence, the survivor’s symptoms and behavior may appear quite baffling, not only to lay people but also to mental health professionals. The clinical picture of a person who has been reduced to elemental concerns of survival is still frequently mistaken for a portrait of the survivor’s underlying character.” :388
There is a lot more information in the post at http://traumadissociation.com/complexptsd.html#icd
Might I suggested to visit and Bookmark the http://traumadissociation.com site, as it is great resource about Trauma Disorders and Dissociative Disorders.
Complex Trauma: Understanding and Treatment
Video is courtesy of the FOCL Online YouTube channel
Quoting from the text which was posted with this video:
“Historically, when someone has experienced trauma that has a lasting impact, they have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In recent years those who work with trauma victims have advocated for an additional category: Complex Trauma. Therapeutic work with those who have experienced either multiple traumas or Repetitive and Chronic Trauma”
In the video the presenter speaks about the abuse of Children and suffering multiple traumas. That the same Multiple Trauma Stress, can also “injure” an adult. For example, the victim of Narcissist Abuse becomes “marinated” in the Repetitive and Chronic Trauma.
Between the Traumatic Events will be “reward” type of events. The victim is cycled between reward and Trauma/Punishment events. That sets the Victim up for Trauma Bonding to occur. The emotional injuries alter the victim.
When one leaves an abusive relationship, the injuries do not disappear. Nor does the Trauma Bond break. The victim’s day will be filled with thoughts of the Abusive Narcissist.
The Victim will wonder if maybe the Narcissist was right and it was their own fault. The Narcissist would never admit to being at fault, always shifting the blame back to the Victim. There is an old saying that “If you tell people a “Lie” often enough, it becomes the “truth”.
Flashbacks are common.The inability to shut off the Flight or Fight response when a situation is not harmful. In my opinion, Complex Trauma can develop in both children and adults who have experienced Multiple Trauma or Repetitive and Chronic Trauma. I believe that Trauma Bonding can also be found in adult victims of abuse who have developed Complex Trauma.
This video is complete webinar in which Steve Stokes, Clinical Practice Consultant, shares insights and practical guidance about Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Effects of Developmental and Accumulative Trauma.
Who is Steve Stokes, you ask?
“Steve has been working in the Addictions and Mental Health Field for 27 years and runs Steve Stokes Counselling Services and Consulting. He is also the Clinical Program Consultant at South Pacific Private, Australia’s Leading Treatment Center in Curl Curl, N.S.W, Australia. In his Role he provides internal and external training at Conferences and Workshops as well as facilitating monthly Webinars for SPP.
Steve also has over 30 years personal Sobriety from Addiction in 12 step fellowships.Steve specializes in Developmental Trauma Treatment and Complex PTSD and Affect Regulation and it’s relationship to all Addiction Treatment. Steve specializes in Sex Addiction Treatment, Sex , Love and Avoidance addiction Treatment and co-occurring addictions and underlying Developmental Trauma.”
Video is courtesy of the South Pacific Private YouTube channel
Developing Complex PTSD Symptoms due to Narcissistic Abuse.
I believe that Victims of Narcissistic Abuse may end up with their natural Fight or Flight response having difficulty to fully shutoff. It keeps going off, when there is no danger. Then there are the Flashbacks.
Heart Breaking to listen to. If you can relate to things discussed in this video, please seek out Professional Medical Help, especially from a Medical Professional who has worked with Abuse Victims and PTSD.
It’s long dark tunnel and hard to find your way out of it. A trained and experienced Medical Professional could be the answer to helping you getting your life back and finally exiting that dark tunnel where that Narcissist had locked you in.
Video is courtesy of the Running from Chaos YouTube channel
Very insightful video detailing “How you are trained and conditioned by a Narcissist over time”.
Video is courtesy of the Running from Chaos YouTube channel
In this TedX Talk titled : “Return from Chaos: Treating PTSD“, Peter Tuerk introduces how we process experiences and trauma. Using examples from his research, he describes how it’s possible to process memories and their associated meanings to overcome a traumatic incident.
Sadly many who get ensnared in an abusive relationship, with a individual afflicted with a Cluster-B Disorder like Narcissism, can end up suffering from PTSD. It is not only Soldiers returning home from battle who get PTSD. Experiencing Repetitive Trauma can lead anyone towards getting PTSD.
This video offers hope that PTSD is a highly treatable condition.
Getting proper help and treatment can help one get their life back.
Video is courtesy of the TEDx Talks YouTube channel
Leyla Loric gives some personal insight about “Getting back on track after Narcissistic Abuse“.
The hardest step is for one to leave an Abusive Relationship. The Emotional Pain remains and one has to learn to move on. It will not be easy. Many end up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Seeking Help from Health Care Professionals who specialize in PTSD could help deal with the emotional trauma and recurring flashbacks.
The key to remember is that the lessons learned will help protect one from becoming sucked into a relationship by another abuser.
Christine Louis de Canonville mentioned something important during one of her seminars on Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome. That was: after becoming involved with a Narcissist you become primed and other Narcissists will pick you out of crowd and try to target you.
Video is courtesy of the Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome YouTube channel