Are You a Survivor of Chronic Family Trauma

(Also known as Complex Trauma or C-PTSD)?

The questions below were designed for reflection, not a diagnosis. Using the tools of yoga therapy to heal trauma requires a willingness to look at “what’s happening now” as a way of better understanding yourself and learning to give yourself the best possible care and comfort in any given moment. 

These questions may not be the only indications of C-PTSD. They may also not fit all people With C-PTSD. But they can be a guideline for people beginning on the road to discovery and recovery from a mental, physical, emotional and spiritual disorder that can significantly impact and ultimately shorten our lives. 

  1. Do your thoughts sometimes race to the extent that you become disorganized and forget what you were originally doing?
  2. Do you sometimes feel physically and/or emotionally Numb, like you’ve been wrapped in cotton – especially after an event that a part of you knows should be really painful? 
  3. Do you sometimes have a lot of intense emotions that cascade from one to the next, seemingly unrelated?
  4. Do you have a history of relationships that seem to be ideal and then suddenly spiral out of control, becoming destructive, even dangerous?
  5. Do you consistently take on jobs, plans, commitments that are more than you can handle? 
  6. When you realize that something is unmanageable to you force yourself to “do what needs to be done” in spite of the cost to your own mental, emotional and physical health?
  7. Do you sometimes lose time, spacing out in the middle of doing something, saying something or listening to someone else, only to come back to yourself and wonder where your mind went and worse, what you missed?
  8. Do you hold back your thoughts and feelings from others because you fear that if people knew who you really were, they wouldn’t like you?
  9. Do you tend to stay in relationships that are emotionally and/or physically abusive even though a part of you knows that it’s unhealthy?
  10. Do you tend to isolate from family and friends because you are too easily triggered by random things they may do or say?
  11. Are you sometimes clumsy, falling or breaking things due to lack of attention or focus?
  12. Have you had a lot of health related issues that seemed to crop up out of nowhere and cascade into chronic pain and exhaustion? 
  13. Have you had issues with use disorders, including alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, etc.?
  14. Have you said Yes when you KNEW you should say No (to relationships, sexual activity, risky behaviors, etc.?
  15. Have you had mood disorders, including depression, anxiety or other emotional issues?
  16. When someone cancels a date, or other engagement to you often feel abandoned and/or think you must have done something wrong?
  17. Are your relationships overly dramatic, tending to negative, hurtful outbursts or violence?
  18. Are the people you find most attractive always seem to be the ones that are married, have use disorders, are “workaholics,” or have other things that prevent them from being present for you and emotionally available?
  19. Do you avoid connecting with people because you believe they won’t like you or will hurt you, even though you really don’t know much about them?
  20. When in social situations or family gatherings, do you often feel like you don’t belong?