What’s the connection between CPTSD, activism, and hope? Melanie and Artemisio Romero y Carver dive into all of it in this fast-paced episode. Arte is a Chicana artist, poet, and grassroots organizer. Santa Fe Youth Poet Laureate in 2020, Arte’s voice is informed, intelligent, and vibrant with hope.
Sharing openly about his diagnosis of CPTSD, as a result of his early childhood experiences, he and Melanie talk about the stress of living in a chaotic world with so many challenges facing his generation, including the climate crisis.
CPTSD, or complex PTSD, shares a lot of symptoms with PTSD, although it’s different in one important aspect.
CPTSD develops as a result of repeated stressful or traumatic events that happen over months or even years.
“A recent study by the National Survey of Children’s Health found that almost 50% of the children in the United States have had at least one significant traumatic experience. Even more recently, a study from 2019 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 60% of American adults report having had at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), and almost a quarter reported three or more ACEs. These numbers are even more sobering when you consider that the CDC researchers believe them to be an underestimate” (from What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, Bruce Perry MD, PhD, Oprah Winfrey).
Some common symptoms of CPTSD include
- feeling overwhelmed,
- anxious all the time,
- having trouble sleeping,
- emotionally out of balance,
- irritable and angry and sad,
- tired, and
If you’re struggling with CPTSD, you may find relationships challenging. You might have issues feeling emotionally safe with other people, and not understand how to trust others (or yourself).
You may avoid intimacy because you just don’t understand it.
Conflict may feel terrifying for you. Or, on the other hand, you may be so comfortable with conflict and arguing that you push people away.