This page highlights a selection of useful and relevant research papers that may help you explore complex trauma further. They were inspired by the academic reading which informed my realisations about my own complex trauma experiences and misdiagnosis.

I also welcome recommendations for relevant and inspiring papers you may know about.

You can use Google Scholar to search for these papers – some may require library access to read the full version.

Complex trauma, abuse and mental health:

Becker, D. & Lamb, S. (1994). Sex bias in the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. Professional Psychology Research and Practice, 25(1), 55-61.

Byrne, L. & Wykes, T. (2020) A role for lived experience mental health leadership in the age of Covid-19, Journal of Mental Health, 29:3, 243-246, DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2020.1766002

Cloitre, M. et al. (2014). Distinguishing PTSD, Complex PTSD, and Borderline Personality Disorder: A latent class analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 5, 25097.

Edwards, V. et al. (2007). It’s OK to ask about past abuse. American Psychologist, 62(4), 327-328.

Herman, J. L., Perry, J. C., & Van der Kolk, B. A. (1989). Childhood trauma in borderline personality disorder. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 146(4), 490–495.

Holmes, G. (2012). Complex reactions to severe trauma: special issues of Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy. Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy, 12(3), 127-177.

Hughes, K. et al. (2017). The effect of multiple adverse childhood experiences on health: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Public Health, 2(8), e356-e366.

Kimerling, R., Ouimette, P. & Weitlauf, J. C. (2007). Chapter 12 Gender Issues in PTSD in Handbook of PTSD, First Edition: Science and Practice eds. Friedman, M. J., Keane, T. M. & Resick, P. A. New York: Guilford Press.

Kyratsous, M., & Sanati, A. (2017). Epistemic injustice and responsibility in borderline personality disorder. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 23(5), 974–980.

Lewis, K. L. & Grenyer, B. F. S. (2009). Borderline Personality or Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder? An update on the controversy. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 17(5), 322–328.

Shaw, C. and Proctor, G. (2005). I. Women at the Margins: A Critique of the Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Feminism & Psychology, 15(4). 483-490.

Thomaes K. et al. (2010). Reduced anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal volumes in child abuse-related complex PTSD. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 71(12), 1636-1644.

van der Kolk, B. A. (2017). Developmental trauma disorder: Toward a rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories. Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 401–408.

van der Kolk, B. A. (2001). Chapter 7 The Assessment and Treatment of Complex PTSD in: Traumatic Stress. Yehuda, R. ed. American Psychiatric Press.

Research methodology:

Gkotsis, G. et al. (2017). Characterisation of mental health conditions in social media using Informed Deep Learning. Scientific Reports 7, 45141.

Slay, J. & Stephens, L. (2013). Co-production in mental health: A literature review. London: new economics foundation. Accessed 17 December 2020, at

Wongkoblap, A., Vadillo, M. A. & Curcin, V. (2017). Researching Mental Health Disorders in the Era of Social Media: Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(6), e228.