Ive been reading a lot recently on trauma and PTSD. Ive noticed the term “complex PTSD” appear more and more. Apparently it was first coined by Judith Herman in her book Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence. Ive just finished it and can highly recommend it.

Complex PTSD is defined as:

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a condition that results from chronic or long-term exposure to emotional trauma over which a victim has little or no control and from which there is little or no hope of escape, such as in cases of:

domestic emotional, physical or sexual abuse
childhood emotional, physical or sexual abuse
entrapment or kidnapping.
slavery or enforced labor.
long term imprisonment and torture
repeated violations of personal boundaries.
long-term objectification.
exposure to gaslighting & false accusations
long-term exposure to inconsistent, push-pull, splitting or alternating raging & hoovering behaviors.
long-term taking care of mentally ill or chronically sick family members.
long term exposure to crisis conditions.

I was struck by this quote elsewhere “obsessive/compulsive disorder, which is sometimes more accurately described as an excessive, fixated flight response to trauma”.

As we all know, limerence has a strong linkage to OCD. I am wondering if limerence is another way of having a fixated flight response to trauma? . Ive described limerence as the mother of all distractions. Distraction from what? For me, it was early life abuse and trans-generational trauma.

I wonder if us limerents have a higher than average amount of traumatic experiences in early life?


David qualified as a Medical Doctor (GMC number 2941565) in 1984 from St. Thomas’ hospital, London. He obtained his GP and family planning certification. In 1999 he left medicine to set up docleaf, a leading Crisis Management and Trauma Psychology Consultancy. He has experience as a hypnotherapist and holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy and counselling from the Centre of Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in London and is currently studying for an advance diploma in executive coaching.

David spends part of his time as an executive coach and running docleaf leadership which works with CEO’s and other C suite leaders in helping them develop and grow.

David has written extensively about limerence, sex and love addiction as well as trauma and PTSD. His interest in romantic relationships led him to set up www.limerence.net, a support forum to help those impacted by this debilitating condition.

David is passionate about men’s work and his mission in life is to help people become more conscious by teaching and helping others and continuing his own self-development. He is actively involved in volunteering with the ManKind Project charity which helps men live their lives with more integrity, honesty and taking more personal responsibility.

Recommended Articles