Treating complex PTSD following childhood abuse, the neurological impact of emotion regulation and BPD

Value Added Abstract

Rachel Faun Fairhurst


Victims of childhood abuse and the correlation between self identity and adult re-victimisation. Initially exploring cPTSD (Complex ptsd) and how neurological disturbances from trauma effect affect regulation. Exploring affect as a salient feature of emotion dysregulation which is an underpinning feature for Borderline personality disorder (BPD) (Hall, 2016), I highlight different attachment disorders which stem from interpersonal abuse and how they correlate to identity disturbances. I will further discuss the comparative view of BPD as trauma reenactment rather than a personality disorder while highlighting the overlapping symptom clusters of cPTSD. Van Dijke has noted trauma and cPTSD often compromise affect regulation (Van Dijke et al 2001), due to disturbances within the neurological development of children. Early life trauma can create abnormal activation of the HPA axis leading to an over-secretion of cortisol which induces hyper-responsivity (Wieland, 2015). Over time this increases sensitivity to stress (Wieland, 2015) and low levels of cortisol can lead to an intolerance to intrusive thoughts when experiencing stress (Wieland,2015). To complete the worksshop I have outlined three stages to treating cPTSD and include a multi modal strategic framework to address neurological changes when working with emotion dsyregulation and cPTSD. I am aware there are currently no guidelines within the DSM5 or ICD10 manuals or ICD-11 Proposal, therefore I have drawn upon extended research from a poole of international experts.

Relevant Publications in Journal of Psychiatry