PTSD, C-PTSD, and BPD are three related but distinct disorders that share a common feature of traumas playing a central role in their development. While PTSD and C-PTSD share most of their symptoms, C-PTSD also shows emotional dysregulation, poor self-concept, and relationship problems. BPD can look similar to C-PTSD but has additional symptoms like frantic attempts to avoid being abandoned, unstable relationships, and impulsiveness.

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For PTSD and C-PTSD, there must be evidence of trauma, while BPD can occur without any evident trauma.


PTSD and C-PTSD share symptoms such as fear reactions, avoidance, and hypervigilance. C-PTSD also includes emotional dysregulation, poor self-concept, and problems in relationships. BPD has additional symptoms, including frantic attempts to avoid abandonment, unstable relationships, unstable sense of self, impulsiveness, self-harm, suicidality, chronic feelings of emptiness, anger issues, and usually brief episodes of paranoid ideas and/or dissociation.

Diagnosis Criteria

PTSD and C-PTSD are diagnosed based on the presence of specific symptoms that develop after exposure to a traumatic event or series of events. BPD is diagnosed based on the presence of specific symptoms related to emotional dysregulation, identity, and relationships.


A comprehensive assessment that includes a clinical interview, mental status examination, and standardized questionnaires can help diagnose PTSD, C-PTSD, and BPD. It's important to consider the context and history of the traumatic event(s) that may have contributed to the development of these disorders.

Similar Conditions

PTSD, C-PTSD, and BPD are distinct disorders, but they share some symptoms with other mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, and substance use disorders. It's important to consider these conditions when diagnosing and treating individuals with PTSD, C-PTSD, or BPD.


Treatment approaches for PTSD and C-PTSD focus on the traumatic experience and aim to ameliorate the traumatic memory. For BPD, treatment is aimed at alleviating emotional dysregulation, self-harm, and establishing a more consistent sense of self and others. Both medication and various types of psychotherapy are used for all three disorders, and research shows that combining these treatments often results in better outcomes. It's important to note that treatment plans should be tailored to each individual's unique needs and circumstances.


If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, C-PTSD, or BPD, it's important to seek professional help. There are many resources available, including therapy, support groups, and medication. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidance on the assessment and treatment of these disorders in the UK. If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from  PTSD, C-PTSD, or BPD and are concerned, contact us for advice.

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Children or adolescents who are at school can gain extra time during exams as part of their extenuating circumstances.

Berkeley Psychiatrists has provided care to thousands of patients over the years, a significant portion of which have been students and people in academia.

Our doctors are experienced in recognising the difficulties students face due to undiagnosed neurodevelopmental conditions (ADHD and Autism) and are able to offer treatment plans tailored to students’ needs

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