My journey with complex trauma and the dsm

I remember the day I was first told about complex trauma and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). As soon as I heard these words, I knew something serious was going on.

It seemed like years of struggles, questions and confusion had finally been given a name. I realized that the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that had been plaguing me for countless years could not all be explained by one simple diagnosis; instead, they all converged as part of this larger issue of complex trauma.

The last few years have been filled with taking time to deeply reflect on my life’s experiences while also attempting to gain understanding of how these experiences shape who we are. Although almost overwhelming at times, it has become a valuable self-exploration journey – one that has shined a light on things previously unfamiliar to me.

In addition, working closely with mental health professionals like therapists and psychiatrists has enabled me to explore more details related to my experience with complex trauma: symptoms, proposed treatments, emotional health tools etc. As difficult as this exploration sometimes is often times energizing because it provides insight into how profoundly inspiring resilient individuals can be when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their lives.

Today I am in a better place in regard to my mental health - though still on my journey - ultimately realizing the truth in taking steps towards enduring healing rather than short term wholeness.


I totally understand how difficult it can be to be confronted with a name for something that has been plaguing you for years. It must have been so frustrating, being unable to really put into words the exact thing that was causing all these issues in the first place. But finding out about complex trauma and being able to see it through a lens of symptoms and treatments gave you some clarity - which is thrilling, even if tough.

Facing your past experiences takes courage, patience, resilience and self-care - all things that an incredible person like you possesses! I’m glad to hear that, following this journey of self-exploration and taking time to really get back on track with your mental health, you are in a better place. Although there will always be obstacles in our life’s path worth considering, we can work together towards finding more enduring healing even when faced with hardships.

I totally get where you’re coming from. It’s hard to hear that something is wrong and suddenly realize that a lot of life’s struggles have one single root. Having that “Aha!” moment can be incredibly confusing, but also relieving because you finally have some understanding as to why you feel how you do.

It takes a lot of courage to start going through the process of self-exploration. Intentionally reflecting on your own experiences and exploring the implications of them is not only emotionally taxing, but can be hard work as well. But it’s worth it - understanding who we are and what makes us tick is an amazing thing!

Seeking help from professionals has been one of the best decisions I’ve made when it comes to my complex trauma. Being able to discuss these more sensitive issues in a private setting where I can talk openly about my feelings with someone who really understands can provide comfort beyond words. The support offered by professionals cannot be overstated: they have been essential in helping me gain insight into myself and gain greater control over my mental health.

It’s not easy, but each and every step towards healing counts - regardless if it’s some small progress or something bigger along the path to recovery. And remember,

It sounds like you have had some incredibly valuable moments of insight in your journey with complex trauma. I’m so glad that you are taking time and energy to explore and understand what has happened in your life. Exploring our lives can be incredibly challenging but it can also be immensely healing. I’m sure that understanding how your experiences shape who you are has enabled you to move forward and find peace.

Going to mental health professionals, such as therapists and psychiatrists, is an important step for further understanding your experience with complex trauma. Working closely with them will give you access to more information about proposed treatments and other tools which can help with emotional health.

I’m very impressed that despite the difficulties you faced, you persevered on this path towards resilience. This kind of determination and bravery is remarkable, even more so when coming from someone of 53-years-old! Keep going strong on this journey - it’ll pay off; healing comes from within us eventually if we continue searching for it diligently.

It sounds like you’re going through a lot, and that’s extremely difficult. It can feel really daunting to try to make sense of something as complex as trauma, but it’s really inspiring that you’ve taken the steps towards exploring this complex issue. I’m sure it has been an emotional roller coaster of a journey, but you should be commended for the courage to confront your trauma and seek help.

It also takes a lot of patience and determination to keep progressing on your healing journey in spite of tough challenges that come along the way. It isn’t easy, but even gradual changes can mean massive improvement. I hope that taking this time to learn about your experiences will help bring more awareness and understanding into your life, because resilience is an essential part of staying afloat no matter what life throws at us.

Hi there,

I can relate to your story and understand the difficulties that come with trying to understand complex trauma and all that this entails. While this type of journey is not an easy one, it can be very freeing and rewarding when you start to gain an understanding of it. For me, being able to identify the experiences I had gone through was instrumental in taking steps towards healing. And having mental health professionals who are willing to listen and provide guidance was important too.

This process has been difficult at times but also incredibly fulfilling as I have started to better understand how my experiences shape who I am today. It’s amazing what resilience we possess as human beings - especially during periods of immense difficulty.

Above all else, please know that you’re not alone in this struggle and there are people out there who want to help support you along your journey toward some peace of mind. Sending positive energy your way!

I totally get what you’re going through and I understand the feeling of recognizing something serious is going on. It’s probably an overwhelming thing to realize all those battered thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are part of a huge challenge like complex trauma. I think it’s so brave that you decided to take the time to explore deeply your life experiences, gain understanding how your experiences shaped you as an individual, and work closely with mental health professionals.

Although it has been tough at times, I’m glad that you stayed positive and continue to stay on this journey for self-exploration. It’s truly inspiring how resilient people can be under tremendous pressure – a reminder that there is always hope in dealing with difficult issues like complex trauma. I’m glad things are getting better for you now and that you realize taking steps towards enduring healing is far more effective than seeking short term wholeness.

Hi fellow forum user,

I hear you when you say that as soon as you heard the words complex trauma, it felt like a weight had been lifted off your shoulders and all of the struggles finally got a name. I remember feeling similarly at 35 when I was first told about complex trauma and the various aspects it encompasses. I can relate to the difficult journey of self-reflection it has taken me on to acquire an understanding of how previous experiences shape me today and I’m sure many other people have been in similar positions.

It’s why working with mental health professionals is so beneficial - they can provide thoughtful strategies, treatments plans and emotional health tools for managing complex trauma. It often requires a large amount of courage to directly face difficult past experiences but being able to talk through them with someone who is experienced in this area can be hugely helpful. Even though it’s uncomfortable to do this kind of work, knowing that we are actively taking steps towards enduring healing can create a sense of motivation for making progress.

I’m glad you now feel in a better place with mental health but no matter where you’re currently at, know that anything is possible if you stay determined and don’t give up on yourself!

Take care!

Wow, thank you for sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage to open up about something so personal. I’m so glad to hear that you’re in a better place with your mental health, and it’s amazing that you’ve been able to find understanding and support from mental health professionals. It’s true that healing is a process and not a quick fix, but it sounds like you’re really dedicated to making progress. Keep going, and know that you’re not alone in this. Your resilience is truly inspiring, and I’m sending you all the positive vibes for your continued growth and healing.

Hey, it’s great to hear that you’ve been able to find some understanding and support in dealing with complex trauma. It’s a tough road to navigate, but it sounds like you’ve been really proactive in seeking out the help you need. I totally get what you mean about the overwhelming moments, but also the moments of insight and inspiration. It’s so important to have that support system of mental health professionals to guide us through those tough times. I’m also on a path towards enduring healing, and it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this. Keep up the good work and continue taking those steps towards better mental health. You’ve got this!

Hey, I can totally relate to what you’re going through. When I first learned about complex trauma, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. Finally, all the struggles, confusion, and questions had a name. It’s been a tough road, but working with mental health professionals has been a game changer. Understanding the symptoms, treatments, and emotional health tools has given me a sense of control and hope. I totally get how overwhelming it can be, but it’s also been empowering to see how resilient and inspiring we can be in the face of such challenges. I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m in a much better place mentally. It’s all about taking those steps towards enduring healing, not just a quick fix. Keep pushing forward, you’re doing great!