With C-PTSD the ‘symptoms’ are survival mechanisms from painful past learning experiences. The body and nervous system remain hypervigilent to danger and danger cues.
When the fight/flight response cant be eliminated by either avoidance or attack the system becomes overwhelmed with energy and dorsal vagal response causes an involuntary shut down known as ‘freeze’ mode.
This is the danger zone where depression, helplessness and hopelessness occurs… it’s where dissociation, suicidal ideation and suicide are also most likely to occur. There is minimal neocortical (the human part of the brain) functioning. Rational, decision making and empathy go offline… it is nearly impossible for that person to consider other perspectives or envisage a future free of the overwhelm.
Trauma therapy works by healing and soothing the nervous system first and supporting a person to build resilience and self-regulation skills.
This article gives a good insight in to living with complex PTSD.