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What Is Betrayal Trauma?

Lido Wellness Center Blog

Understanding Betrayal Trauma

April 3, 2024

Today, we’ll explore the intricate world of betrayal trauma. This condition, perhaps less talked about than other forms of psychological and mental health, is profoundly impactful and deserves our attention.

Can Betrayal Cause Trauma?

Absolutely, betrayal can indeed lead to trauma. When someone we trust deeply, such as a partner, friend, or family member, violates our trust, it can shake the very foundation of our safety and security. It can feel like a personal attack to our sense of stability and self-worth. This is the essence of betrayal trauma.

This emotional shock does more than just upset us. Deep betrayal can trigger a trauma response that is as severe as the response to physical or life-threatening events. These responses can range from intense fear, hyper-vigilance, flashbacks, and even disassociation.

Essentially, your brain sees it as a threat to survival. It goes into action, mobilizing the body’s fight-or-flight response just as it would in reaction to a direct physical danger.

Deeper Cuts

Moreover, when the source of the trauma is someone close, the pain is compounded by a sense of deep personal loss. Trust, once fully believed in, now becomes a question mark in all interpersonal relations. This sadly means all your relationships suffer.

Accordingly, the shift can lead to long-term changes in personal relationships and self-esteem. So yes.  further betrayal trauma is a big deal that affects your mental health.

How Betrayal Trauma Manifests

Betrayal trauma shows up in several ways. Typically, people have intense emotional pain, confusion, and a profound sense of loss. Also, symptoms like anxiety, depression, or even physical symptoms such as insomnia and nausea are common.

Importantly, the psychological impact can lead to difficulties in trusting others in the future.

How Do You Know If You Have Trauma from Betrayal?

  • Persistent sadness or mood swings
  • Feelings of anger or irritability towards the betrayer
  • A tendency to isolate oneself from others
  • Recurring thoughts about the betrayal
  • Difficulty trusting new people

If these symptoms persist and interfere with daily functioning, it may point to betrayal trauma.

What Kinds of Things Might Cause It?
Several scenarios might lead to this trauma. Here’s a brief list:

  • Infidelity in a romantic relationship
  • A trusted friend sharing personal information without consent
  • Financial deceit among family members
  • Business partners engaging in fraudulent activities
  • A caregiver failing to meet the needs of their dependent

How Does Betrayal Trauma Affect Your Brain?

Betrayal trauma affects your brain by triggering the stress response system. This can lead to an increase in stress hormones like cortisol, which, over time, can impact various brain functions such as memory and emotional regulation.

Additionally, the brain might adapt to expect betrayal. In essence, your brain begins to be unable to enter or sustain relationships.

How to Heal from Betrayal Trauma

Healing is a delicate process that involves several steps. Firstly, acknowledging the pain and accepting that the betrayal occurred is crucial. Furthermore, engaging in therapy, connecting with others who have similar experiences, and gradually rebuilding trust are vital components of recovery.

What Are Some Good Therapies to Help?

Several therapeutic approaches can help. These include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which helps individuals reframe negative thoughts about the betrayal and develop healthier coping strategies.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which has been effective in processing and integrating traumatic memories.
  • Group therapy, providing a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences and learn from others.
  • Mindfulness and meditation practices, which can help calm the mind and reduce the physiological symptoms of stress.

Get Help for Betrayal Trauma in Newport Beach IOP

If you or someone you know is struggling with feelings of betrayal and its repercussions, Lido Wellness Center in Newport Beach, CA, offers specialized support and therapy designed to help.

Call us today to learn how our personalized mental health programs can assist in the journey toward recovery and emotional well-being. Call now: 949-541-8466.

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I am not just renewed. I AM NEW. I am found new in this freedom that breaking up the trauma has brought. I feel a true sense of clarity and oneness to the highest degree ever in my life. I was able to fully fall into trust with Lido Wellness Center and your clinicians. I was mightily impressed by the overall integrity, clinical and administrative competencies. You instilled such confidence in me about the paths and processes that lead to deep healing. I leave better and strengthened on all levels.

- Alumni, Lido Wellness Center

Going to Lido Wellness Center gave me a second chance at life. It equipped me with the tools and resources necessary to live my life the best way I can. I wouldn’t trade my time at Lido for anything. It was priceless to me and I’ll carry it with me for the rest of my life. I’m eternally grateful to the team I had around me that was dedicated to my recovery.

- Alumnus, Lido Wellness Center

Lido Wellness Center saved my life. I am endlessly grateful for the knowledgeable, empathetic, and supportive staff members that truly went above and beyond to provide a safe space to heal. Each staff member showed me kindness like I had never experienced before, and believed in me even when I was struggling to believe in myself. It is clear that the Lido Wellness Center team genuinely cares about every individual that walks through those doors, both during treatment and beyond through alumni services. Choosing to fully dive deep into treatment at Lido was one of the hardest and most rewarding decisions I have ever made, and I am now living a life that I never thought was possible.

- Alumnus, Lido Wellness Center

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