Mental Health Monsters
28.00 - 58.00

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD)

'Speak up, I am listening' or the MHM logo can be printed on the front of all pieces except the t-shirts. The logo is the default option unless otherwise specified in the notes section when purchasing.


Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) can occur after prolonged and repeated trauma. The scars and opened wounds are a representation of this long-term suffering.

The missing jigsaw pieces represent dissociation. They symbolise feeling detached from emotions, memories, identity, and environment.

Forming relationships after repeated trauma is difficult- your trust in people is compromised. The monsters horns are a reflection of this distrust; avoiding others, using defense mechanisms and feeling a lack of connection. This distrust can deepen into losing or question ones sense of self.

The arrow pointing backwards with the lightening symbol represents ‘flashbacks’, a vivid experience in which you relive some aspects of a traumatic event or feel as if it is happening for the first time. Heightened emotions of fear and anxiety are symbolised in the trembling lines either side of the monster.

The brain attaches details (sights, smells etc) to the traumatic memory. These details become triggers. A trigger is something that switches the brain from a normal state into danger mode. Certain triggers can set off CPTSD, bringing back strong memories, where you re-experience the trauma. Triggers can include sights, sounds, smells, or thoughts that remind you of the traumatic event in some way.
The red lever attached to the ear represents triggers, which are usually tied to our senses.

Nightmares are a symptom of PTSD, these are reflected in the monsters eyes, which appear heavy and exhausted from either lack of sleep or the stressful sleep that does occur.

The chemical structure within the monster's skin is Adrenaline. When in danger, the body produces stress hormones, such as adrenaline. This triggers the "fight, flight or freeze" reaction. People with CPTSD have abnormal levels of stress hormones, where the body continues to produce high levels even when there is no danger. This may be responsible for the numbed emotions and hyperarousal experienced.


The word 'monster' refers to the disorder, which can become monstrous without the right treatment or support, this does NOT refer to the people themselves. These illustrations are not designed to take away from the seriousness of these issues, instead they are created to encourage conversation and make these issues more approachable.

*Terms and Conditions*
By purchasing this item, you are confirming that you have read and accept our Terms and Conditions (T's & C's) on the bottom of the Mental Health Monsters website. The T's & C's also discuss refunds / exchange, as well as washing instructions.