Dangers of Trauma Bonding & How to Break Free | Banyan Mental Health
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The Dangers of Trauma Bonding & How to Break it

What Is Trauma Bonding

The Dangers of Trauma Bonding & How to Break It

Traumatic events can take many forms and trauma can affect people in different ways.

While many people get treatment for PTSD or anxiety after a traumatic experience, trauma bonding is another concerning side effect of some forms of trauma that many people may not expect.

What Is Trauma Bonding?

Trauma bonding is the unhealthy emotional attachment or connection that the victim of abuse has for their abuser. Trauma bonding can happen to both children and adults and can be a result of physical or emotional abuse. Although the victim is stuck in a toxic and abusive relationship, they still feel a kinship to the other person and may be surprisingly loyal to them. Trauma bonding is similar to Stockholm Syndrome where a hostage will start to develop feelings of affection for their kidnapper.

The Dangers of a Trauma Bond Relationship

The biggest problem with trauma bonding is that the victim becomes trapped in a toxic relationship and will not leave. Especially in terms of emotional abuse, the toxicity in the relationship may be more subtle. They may dismiss or downplay the harmfulness of their situation and instead attempt to make the most of it. This type of thinking means that they will continue to put themselves in harm’s way whether it is physical or emotional abuse.

Trauma bonding may also impact the person’s attachment style and lead to other unhealthy relationships. For young children, this could mean relationship problems in adulthood. For adults, trauma bonding may even lead them to push away their other loved ones for fear of judgment.

Addiction may also be a part of a trauma bond relationship. While the addict may have gone to a behavioral health center and gotten sober, it doesn’t seem to last. Their constant cycle of relapse and sobriety may cause their loved one to stick around when they shouldn’t and could also create a codependent relationship.

How to Break a Trauma Bond

Trauma bonds can become strong and hard to break, but doing so is necessary if the victim wants to start moving forward with their life. These tips on breaking a trauma bond could help you or a loved one finally escape.

Examine the Relationship

The first step to breaking a trauma bond is to acknowledge that it exists. Take the time to honestly examine your relationship with the other person and do your best to look at it from an outsider’s perspective. Analyze the red flags, look at how the relationship makes you feel, and think back to other similar relationships.

Get Some Separation

Some people are in trauma bond relationships and do not even realize it. The best way for them to see the light is for them to get some separation. Removing themselves from the toxic person can help them finally see the relationship for what it is.

Join a Support Group

If you feel at all stuck in your relationship and like you cannot escape, a support group could be the answer. Hearing from other people who are going through similar situations or have escaped a toxic relationship can help you realize that you are not alone and there is hope.

Therapy or Treatment

While a support group may be beneficial for some, if your situation is more severe, you may need more help to remove yourself from the harmful relationship for good. Finding a therapist or starting a formal trauma treatment program can help you break the cycle of thinking that is keeping you in this relationship and help initiate the healing process.

If your personal relationships are negatively impacting your mental health, it is time to get help. At Banyan Mental Health, we help people with various mental health disorders work through their problems and find relief.

To start the process or just to get more information, reach out to us now at 888-280-4763.

Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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