A type of trauma, termed complex trauma refers to exposure to multiple or repeated trauma events such as childhood abuse or neglect; war; civil unrest; cultural dislocation; or sexual exploitation.
The impact of complex trauma is usually severe, persistent and cumulative, and can result in poor emotional and physical health, wellbeing, relationships, and daily functioning. Signs and symptoms of complex trauma vary but may include: feeling disconnected to the self, emotional dysregulation, mood changes, depression, anxiety, memory or cognitive problems, and derealisation.
More than 5 million Australian adults are living with the impacts of complex trauma. Complex trauma from childhood events is common. It affects 1 in 4 Australian adults, and sometimes causes impacts into old age.