Diagnosis of CPTSD

Aside from the usual criterion that is used to diagnose acute, single-incident post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in specific, those of:

  • Re-experiencing the event in the current as in forms of horror (nightmares, flashbacks)
  • Avoidance of traumatic reminders and events (thoughts, people, places, activities); and
  • A current sense of further threat that is demonstrated by an enhanced startle reaction or by an excessive hyper-vigilant state

For one to be given a diagnosis of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) in addition to the aforementioned core components of PTSD, one must also include symptoms that also affect the individual from one of the following three domains. These include:

  • Affective dsyregulation (excessive crying, angry outburst, emotional numbing)
  • Negative self-concept (persistent, negative beliefs about oneself, guilt, shame, worthlessness)
  • Interpersonal problems (an inability to build or maintain close relationships or bonds)
CPTSD Diagnosis

How is CPTSD Diagnosed?

Related Links to Diagnosing CPTSD

United States Department of Veteran Affairs | cptsd.


Elkit, A., & Hyland, P.S. (May, 2014). Evidence of Symptom Profiles Consistent With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Different Trauma Samples. European Journal of PsychoTraumatology, 5.