This page highlights a selection of useful and relevant research papers and articles 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.

You can use Google Scholar to search for these papers – some may require library access to read the full version. I also welcome recommendations for relevant and inspiring papers you may know about.

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.

Cohen, C. (1993) ‘The biomedicalization of psychiatry: A critical overview’, Community Mental Health Journal, 29(6), pp. 509-521. Available at:

Dye, H. (2018) The impact and long-term effects of childhood trauma, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 28(3), 381-392, DOI: 10.1080/10911359.2018.1435328

The Economist (2020) Worldwide covid-19 is causing a new form of collective trauma. Available at: (Accessed 17 December 2020).

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

Gillis, A. (2015) The rise of Mad Studies. Available at: (Accessed 10 December 2020).

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.

Harris, H. R, Wieser, F., Vitonis, A.F., Rich-Edwards, J., Boynton-Jarrett, R., Bertone-Johnson, E. R. & Missmer, S. A. (2018) Early life abuse and risk of endometriosis. Human Reproduction, DOI: 10.1093/humrep/dey248

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.

Ruiz, R. (2014). How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD. Accessed 18 April 2021 at

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.

Shimo, A. (2019, March 27). Are sexual abuse victims being diagnosed with a mental disorder they don’t have? The Guardian. Accessed 27 March 2019, at

Sweeney, A., Filson, B., Kennedy, A., Collinson, L., & Gillard, S. (2018). A paradigm shift: relationships in trauma-informed mental health services. BJPsych advances, 24(5), 319–333.

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.

Together (2011) Lived Experience Leading The Way: Peer Support In Mental Health. Available at: (Accessed 26 May 2022). 

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.

Watts, J. (2017, February 14). Testimonial Injustice And Borderline Personality Disorder. Huffington Post. Accessed 13 December 2019, at

Research methodology:

Coppersmith, G., Dredze, M., & Harman, C. (2014, June). Quantifying mental health signals in Twitter. In Proceedings of the workshop on computational linguistics and clinical psychology: From linguistic signal to clinical reality (pp. 51-60).

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

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

Perôt, C., Chevous, J. & Survivors’ Voices Research Group (2018). Turning Pain into Power: Survivors Charter V1. Survivors Voices. Accessed 27 Jan 2022, at

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.