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What is an Online Complex PTSD Assessment?

Complex PTSD test
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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Experiencing traumatic, distressing, and frightening events may lead to having a mental health disorder called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If traumatic events were complex, prolonged, or repetitive, people with PTSD may develop complex PTSD or CPTSD. It can occur after a person has experienced physical or sexual abuse, war, or natural disasters. CPTSD can cause a range of symptoms, including intrusive memories, depression, anxiety, feelings of detachment, difficulty regulating emotions and maintaining relationships, and changes in self-perception.

In case you are worried that you may have CPTSD, it is important to get a diagnosis from a qualified mental health professional. A thorough assessment is the best way to determine if you have CPTSD. However, before an appointment, you can start by taking a test for complex PTSD. It can give you an indication of whether or not you may have the disorder.

Take a complex PTSD test and turn to a professional to get rid of your symptoms.

Complex PTSD Symptoms Tests

Complex PTSD is one of the most difficult mental illnesses to accurately diagnose, as it is often difficult to distinguish from other forms of traumatization and anxiety. Taking a complex PTSD test online can provide an individual with a comprehensive initial evaluation of their condition from the comfort of their own home.

The most commonly used complex trauma tests and screenings are:

1. The Trauma Symptom Checklist-40 (TSC-40) [1*] . It is an invaluable tool in diagnosing complex PTSD. This self-report measure assesses the impact of a traumatic event on the individual’s functioning and symptoms. The TSC-40 is useful in recognizing and quantifying the presence and severity of complex PTSD symptoms, such as posttraumatic cognitions, intrusive recollections, avoidance and numbing, hyperarousal, and dissociation. This allows for a more comprehensive assessment of complex PTSD and can be used to inform treatment decisions.

2. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 (SCID-5) [2*] . The SCID-5 is an evidence-based, semi-structured diagnostic interview, designed to assess the current and lifetime presence of DSM-5 disorders, including complex PTSD. The SCID-5 is formatted to ensure a consistent and comprehensive assessment of symptoms and is highly reliable in detecting both current and past symptoms, even though they may be distant in the past. Clinicians can use the SCID-5 along with other assessment methods and a comprehensive clinical evaluation, to make accurate diagnoses of complex PTSD, helping them to provide the right treatments for their patients.

Complex PTSD symptoms

3. The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) [3*] . It is a reliable and scientifically validated diagnostic tool for the assessment and diagnosis of CPTSD. The HTQ is an extensive self-report questionnaire that has been used extensively in clinical practice, research, and epidemiological studies. It assesses the severity of PTSD, as well as other commonly associated symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and impairment in functioning. The HTQ is a unique tool for understanding and effectively treating individuals suffering from the debilitating impacts of complex PTSD.

4. The Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). It is an important PTSD test in diagnosing symptoms of complex PTSD, as it assesses a wide range of symptomatology and psychosocial functioning. CAPS-5 is specifically designed to evaluate the presence, severity, and chronicity of a patient’s PTSD symptoms, including dissociation, avoidance, intrusive memories, emotional numbing, sleep disturbances, and other signs of PTSD that can be indicative of complex PTSD. Additionally, CAPS-5 can measure the impact of the disorder on a person’s functioning and how long it has been present. With its versatility and accuracy in assessing the presence and intensity of PTSD-related issues, CAPS-5 can provide a broad and detailed picture of a patient’s PTSD symptoms, helping clinicians to make an accurate diagnosis and subsequently develop an effective treatment plan.

Have a qualified medical doctor screen your mental health to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

5. The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-5). It is used to identify symptoms of complex PTSD in individuals according to the diagnostic criteria outlined in DSM-5. This 20-item complex PTSD quiz assesses an individual’s difficulty in various areas of functioning such as emotional numbing, intrusive memories, avoidance, and hyper arousal. The PCL-5 is an important diagnostic tool not only for PTSD but also for those who may have symptoms that are associated with other conditions but appear to stem from a traumatic event. As the PCL-5 has been designed to include items that identify more complex reactions to traumatic events, it helps assess the full range of symptoms often seen in complex PTSD.

6. The Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI-2) [4*] . The Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI-2) is a powerful tool if you want to take a complex PTSD test online. This inventory is unique in its assessment of overarching trauma-related disturbances. It not only measures the individual dimensions of trauma symptoms but also provides an overall score that can be used to assess the level of trauma a person has experienced. It is based on an extensive inventory of 136 items, covering a wide range of trauma effects such as sleep disturbances, anxiety, and intrusive memories. The TSI-2 is considered the gold standard in diagnosing complex PTSD and is a valuable asset to clinicians in the professional evaluation and treatment of individuals suffering from this disorder.

PTSD tests

7. The Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R) [5*] . It is one of the most commonly used self-report measures of post-traumatic stress. This scale is a reliable and valid measure of the severity of PTSD symptoms that patients may experience following a traumatic event. It evaluates the impact of the event on the individual’s life in terms of intrusion, avoidance, and hyperarousal symptoms. It also assesses the individual’s level of functioning and their ability to cope with the event. The IES-R is a useful tool for clinicians to identify and diagnose complex PTSD in their clients and provide effective treatments.

Bottom Line

Because complex PTSD can be difficult to diagnose and has overlapping symptoms with other disorders, a combination of tests, assessments, and interviews are often used to diagnose it by mental health professionals.

Symptom examination and getting a diagnosis are necessary to get the most suitable and effective treatment. Consult a professional at the MEDvidi to get a personalized treatment plan and medications that will help you overcome your complex PTSD symptoms.


+5 sources
  1. Construct Validation of the Trauma Symptom Checklist-40 Total and Subscale Scores. (2020)
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  2. Psychometric properties of Structured Clinical Interview for DSM‐5 Disorders‐Clinician Version (SCID‐5‐CV). (2021)
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  3. A Rasch-based validity study of the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire. (2020)
    Source link
  4. Trauma Symptom Inventory. (2015)
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  5. The Impact of Event Scale– Revised: A quick measure of a patient's response to trauma. (2008)
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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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This article contains scientific references. The numbers
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