How Betrayal Causes Trauma? Know Effects, Signs And Tips For Recovery

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How Betrayal Causes Trauma? Know Effects, Signs And Tips For Recovery

We all are a part of some or the other relationships. It can be with friends, partner, family or social relationships. Relationships do not always stay forever, the reasons being that there are lot of ups and downs that one relationship goes through. A relationship is basically a bond that is created with a sign of mutual trust for each other. The ending of a relationship can affect people largely when they are attached and very close of each other. Any type of betrayal in a relationship can cause emotional distress and could cause trauma inside you. Today we will discuss about how betrayal causes trauma and tips to recover from it. 

Why betrayal causes trauma?

We spoke to Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Tanu Chowdhury from Healthcare Clinic, Lucknow to understand the reasons for trauma due to betrayal. She said that any relationship is based on trust and when it is broken, the other person gets shattered. This is more common in younger adults when they fell in love or have close bonds with their partners. This is also common when a person depends on the other person too much and needs the other person to safeguard your trust in them. 

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If we categorise trauma depending on the factor of violation, it is divided into two major categories. 

  1. Betrayal by your parent or childhood caregiver
  2. Betrayal by a romantic partner

In the case where you depend on a single person for all your basic needs and to take care of you, betrayal from that person can cause trauma because it gets hard for you to accept that condition. This also happens because you get a shock and realise that you no longer have that person to support in your needs. 

If it’s because of romantic your partner, then reason is close enough but it more due to lack of love and protection which you get. You try to find yourself attached to the person that creates a sense of lacking and emotional blunting

What is Betrayal Trauma?

Betrayal trauma is a valid theory that was introduced in 1991 by psychologist Jennifer Freyd. She has mentioned in her theory that a specific trauma that occurs because of betrayal of a person needs to have a relationship with that person for the support or protection. According to our expert, betrayal theory suggests that trauma is caused when there is a sudden harm to a relationship which is closely attached between caregivers or romantic partners. It could have a long lasting effect on the person’s mental health. 

Also Read- Advocating An Inclusive World: What Is Neurodiversity?

Betrayal Trauma in children

We usually understand that betrayal is a condition that only occurs with adults, but it is not so. Children can also go through betrayal trauma when their emotional needs are not fulfilled. This includes safety, food, shelter and love. Due to lack of financial or social aid, they could have betrayal trauma when their relationship is longer available to provide them with resources. 

However in case of children, the fear of losing the relationship and resources becomes more than actual condition of trauma in most cases. It is because children are not able to process the given circumstances and betrayal totally and hence it affects them in a little different way. 

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Signs and Symptoms for betrayal trauma

There could be multiple signs and symptoms for having betrayal trauma. It also constitutes of both physical and mental health. Depending on the person and affect of trauma, the symptoms may also vary; here are the symptoms that you may face- 

  • Trouble expressing or managing emotions
  • Anxiety
  • Depression and mental health symptoms
  • Nightmares
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Eating disorder
  • Trust issues
  • Attachment issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Panic attacks
  • Stomach distress 
  • Thoughts of suicide

A widely faced problem in this condition that happens is that the ability of forgot mechanism occurs. This means when you try to remove that person from your memories, you might also lose a sense of yourself. It occurs in many cases of betrayal trauma, the sense of self and memory functions get affected.

Infidelity Trauma

When there is a betrayal in a romantic relationship, it forms an infidelity. It is a type of betrayal in which the trauma can be extensive and cause harm to your mental and physical health. Infidelity trauma can often cause many symptoms and thus be very problematic. Here are some symptoms that you should be aware of-

  • Numbness
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Loss of self-worth
  • Guilt
  • Intrusive thoughts about affair
  • Difficulty in controlling emotions
  • Too much Anger
  • Loss of faith in people around you
  • Depression, anxiety and mental health problems
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach distress 

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Betrayal Blindness in case of Romantic relationships

In situations where you fall in love with a person, mostly in case of partners, it may arise a feeling inside you that does not let you lose that person. Even though you might not feel it as a instinct to survive, but it makes you feel incomplete or lacking. 

Romantic relationships fulfil an important aspect or social relationships and sense of belonging in a person which every person needs. As a result of this, when betrayal occurs, senses of alertness are lost and you are left wondering in an absent minded space. It occurs to many people that they let their guard down and hence are not able to see signs of cheating and clues of betrayal. It makes you vulnerable to mental health problems in future.

Also Read- Uninvolved Parenting: How Does It Affect The Child?

Tips to Recover from Betrayal Trauma

It is important that you follow some tips that can help you recover from the trauma at a faster rate. This is a crucial phase to get your life back on track. 

1. Acknowledge what has happened. Do not try to avoid the situation and accept that you have been betrayed. It will help you calm down your emotional turmoil.

2. Practise to accept difficult situations and emotions that come with it. You may feel anxiety, stress, sick, grieving and other emotions. You need to let it flow out and do not feel ashamed of it. 

3. Turn to other for support. Many people just shut their doors of trust and thus do not tell anyone. This results in depression and emotional stress. Taking help of your family or friends is always a good option.

4. Focus on your end goals and what you need. If your partner cheats then do not feel pressurised. Take time and allow yourself to think, what best case scenario is for you, try to focus on the process to achieve your goal.

Picture Credits- pixabay.com, pexels.com



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