What Causes Betrayal Trauma?

Betrayal trauma is a type of psychological trauma that occurs when you are betrayed by someone whom you thought you could trust. Betrayal trauma often leads to feelings of betrayal, abandonment, and isolation. Here are some different types of betrayal trauma:

Child Abuse:

This betrayal can involve either physical, mental/emotional abuse, or a mix of both by a primary caregiver on whom the victim depends for necessities including food, clothing, shelter, and protection from harm. The young victim’s reaction to any subsequent trauma may be strongly influenced by this.

In such instances, dissociation or “betrayal blindness” is common as a defense mechanism against the risk of an unhealthy relationship with the caregiver and potential harm to the child.

Interpersonal Betrayal:

This is the betrayal felt by a person you’ve been very close to emotionally. This may include a trusted friend or colleague. Even if it’s not a romantic partner, being deceived or lied to by someone you care about can have profound emotional scars.

Institutional Betrayal:

This type of betrayal is felt when an institution that the patient trusted fails to effectively deal with or prevent related wrong-doings perpetrated by other individuals. The emotions involved in betrayal can include astonishment, blame, potential refusal to assist, and even attempts to silence the victim, all of which might result in a “second assault,” which might worsen the original trauma symptoms.

Intimate Betrayal:

The bonds and attachments that bind two people together are one of the most important aspects of an intimate relationship. The other party tells you that you are cared for, understood, appreciated, and most of all, safe. Betrayal by an intimate partner violates these bonds, and the victim is forced to experience the loss of the relationship as it stood before they were betrayed.

How are Betrayal Trauma and PTSD Different?

Betrayal trauma is a specific type of psychological trauma that occurs when you are betrayed by someone you trust. PTSD is a condition that can be caused by any traumatic experience, including exposure to violence or death.

The main difference between betrayal trauma and PTSD is the cause of the condition. Betrayal trauma is caused by someone you trust betraying you, while PTSD can be caused by any type of traumatic experience.

Beginning the Recovery Process

The first step in beginning the recovery process is to seek professional help. A therapist can help you identify and work through the emotions you are feeling.

In addition to therapy, there are many self-help resources available to help you heal from betrayal trauma. Reading books or articles about betrayal trauma can be helpful. There are also support groups available for people who have experienced betrayal trauma. These groups provide a space for you to share your experiences with others who understand what you are going through.

Finally, it is important to take care of yourself during the recovery process. Be sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise, get plenty of rest, and spend time with supportive people. Taking care of yourself will help you feel better and give you the strength to keep going.