It’s hard to survive PTSD after a cheating relationship. You feel like you’re going crazy sometimes, and you can’t seem to make sense of what happened. Everything feels like it’s falling apart, and you don’t know how to put the pieces back together again. If this is your reality right now, please know that you are not alone. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms of PTSD after a cheating relationship, as well as ways to cope with them. We hope that this information will help you on your road to recovery!
Defining PTSD After Cheating
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. This can include everything from combat and natural disasters to sexual assault and, as we will be discussing today, infidelity. PTSD is characterized by four main symptoms: avoidance, intrusive thoughts, negative changes in mood and thinking, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.
Cheating, also known as infidelity, is when a person in a committed relationship engages in a sexual or romantic activity with someone outside of that relationship. This can be incredibly devastating to the betrayed partner, as it can cause feelings of betrayal, anger, grief, and insecurity. This is also a form of trauma that can lead to PTSD.
PTSD from cheating is often called “betrayal trauma.” This is because the betrayal of trust can be so damaging to the relationship that it feels like a traumatic event. And, just like with other forms of PTSD, the symptoms of betrayal trauma can be debilitating.
Why Do People Cheat?
There are many reasons why people cheat on their partners. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with the relationship and is simply a result of an opportunity arising. Other times, it may be a symptom of a larger issue, such as dissatisfaction with the relationship or feelings of emotional disconnection. And still other times, it may be a sign of something more troubling, such as unresolved trauma from a previous relationship or an addiction problem.
Whatever the reason for cheating, it is important to remember that it is never the victim’s fault. Cheating is a choice made by the person who chooses to betray their partner’s trust. If you have been cheated on, please know that you are not responsible for your partner’s infidelity.
Symptoms of PTSD After Cheating
As we mentioned before, there are four main symptoms of PTSD: avoidance, intrusive thoughts, negative changes in mood and thinking, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Let’s take a closer look at each of these symptoms:
- Avoidance: One of the most common symptoms of PTSD is avoidance. This can manifest in a number of ways, such as avoiding certain people, places, or activities that remind you of the trauma. You may also find yourself numbing your emotions by drinking alcohol or using drugs or withdrawing from friends and family. It also may be difficult for you to talk about what happened or even to think about it.
- Intrusive Thoughts: It’s also common to experience intrusive thoughts after a traumatic event. This can include reliving the event over and over again in your mind, having flashbacks or nightmares about it, or feeling like you’re going crazy. You may feel like you’re losing control of your thoughts, and they may feel very distressing. You may also have flashbacks, which are vivid memories of the event that feel like you’re reliving it. Flashbacks can be so realistic that you may even smell or taste things that were present during the trauma.
- Negative Changes in Mood and Thinking: PTSD can also cause negative changes in mood and thinking. You may find yourself feeling more irritable, anxious, or depressed. You may have difficulty concentrating or sleeping. One may also feel like you’re detached from your emotions, or that the world is a dangerous place. This can also mean that you’re more likely to be easily startled or to have a hard time trusting people.
- Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions: Finally, PTSD can also cause changes in physical and emotional reactions. You may feel like your fight-or-flight response is always engaged, which can lead to feeling on edge or feeling like you’re in danger all the time. You may also find yourself having panic attacks, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, or experiencing chest pain. This can include feeling jumpy or on edge, being easily startled, having outbursts of anger, being hypervigilant, startling easily, having trouble calming down when you’re upset, or feeling like you’re always on edge. You may also find yourself feeling more irritable or aggressive. You may have difficulty with intimacy, both physically and emotionally.
Additionally, PTSD after facing betrayal can also cause a great deal of shame and self-blame. You may find yourself wondering what you could have done differently, or feeling like you’re not good enough. This self depreciating behavior can manifest as social withdrawal, difficulty at work or school, and other problems.
All of these symptoms can make it very difficult to function in day-to-day life. If you’re struggling with any of these symptoms, please reach out for help!
There is some evidence to suggest that men and women may experience PTSD differently after cheating.
In one study, it was found that women were more likely to experience symptoms of avoidance, while men were more likely to experience symptoms of intrusion and hyperarousal.
Additionally, women were more likely to blame themselves for the betrayal, while men were more likely to blame their partners.
It’s important to remember that everyone experiences PTSD differently, and there is no wrong or right way to feel. If you’re struggling with any of the above symptoms, please reach out for help!
Effects On Daily Life
PTSD from cheating can have a profound effect on your daily life. It can effect various domains of life, including:
- Work: You may find it difficult to concentrate at work, or you may be unable to go to work at all. This is due to the fact that work may be a trigger for your PTSD symptoms.
- Relationships: It’s not surprising that PTSD can have a negative effect on your relationships. You may find it difficult to trust people, or you may withdraw from any social interactions. You may also find yourself struggling in your romantic relationship, as the trauma of betrayal can be very damaging to trust. It can also be difficult to communicate your needs to your partner.
- Self-Care: It’s important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally when you’re struggling with PTSD. This can be difficult, as symptoms of avoidance may make it hard for you to leave the house or interact with people. You may also find that you’re not taking care of your physical health, as symptoms of hyperarousal can make it difficult to sleep or eat.
- Family Life: PTSD can also take a toll on your family life. You may find yourself withdrawn from your children, or you may have difficulty providing them with the care they need. It may also make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with your friends as your symptoms can make it hard to interact with people.
PTSD can have a profound effect on your life, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. If you’re struggling with any of the above symptoms, please reach out for help! There are many resources available to help you heal and move on from this difficult experience.
Dealing With PTSD From Cheating
If you’re struggling with PTSD after a cheating relationship, there are many resources available to help you. You may either avail them by yourself or with the help of a mental health professional.
While therapy or medication may not be right for everyone, they can be very helpful for some people. If you’re struggling with intrusive thoughts or flashbacks, therapy can help you to process the trauma and develop coping mechanisms. If you’re struggling with hyperarousal symptoms, medication may be able to help you regulate your mood and sleep patterns. Some of the most common and effective types of therapy and prescription medications include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This type of therapy can help you to identify and change any negative thoughts or behaviors that may be contributing to your PTSD symptoms.
- Exposure therapy: This type of therapy gradually exposes you to the trigger in a safe and controlled environment, which can help you to eventually overcome your fear.
- Interpersonal therapy: This type of therapy can help to improve your relationships and communication skills, which can be very helpful in dealing with the aftermath of a cheating relationship.
- Support groups: There are also many support groups available, both in person and online. These groups can provide a space for you to share your experiences and connect with others who understand what you’re going through.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: This type of medication is often used to treat anxiety and depression, but it can also be effective in treating symptoms of PTSD.
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors: This type of medication is often used to treat depression, but it can also be helpful in treating symptoms of PTSD.
Your respective healthcare provider may also have additional suggestions for treatment, so be sure to ask about other options that may be available to you. They may also monitor your progress and the effect of these interventions on your condition and symptoms.
Self Help Strategies
In addition to professional intervention by a mental health practitioner, you may also adapt to some self-help coping mechanisms. Since your emotions are yours to handle and identify, it is important to develop a strategy and plan for when you experience difficult emotions. Below are some self-help strategies that may be useful for you:
It may seem difficult to do so, but acceptance is an important step in healing. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you have to like what happened, but it does mean that you’re willing to face the reality of the situation. It’s important to be aware of how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way. Once you’ve identified your emotions, you can start to address them and develop a plan for dealing with them. It is very important to remember that emotions are not “right” or “wrong”. They’re just emotions, and they’re valid no matter what they are. Remember that healing is a process, and it takes time. This also means that you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to “get over” your PTSD.
After facing betrayal and infidelity, it is essential to prioritize your own self-care. This is important because you need time to heal both physically and emotionally. During this time, it is okay to say no to things that you don’t want to do. It’s also okay to take some time for yourself without feeling guilty about it. Make sure to get plenty of rest, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. These things will help you to feel better both physically and mentally.
Identifying your triggers
It can be helpful to make a list of the things that trigger your PTSD symptoms. This may include people, places, smells, sounds, or anything else that reminds you of the trauma. Once you know what your triggers are, you can avoid them or be prepared for them when they do occur. This can also help you to identify any patterns in your symptoms. For example, you may notice that your symptoms are worse at certain times of the day or after certain activities. You may also find yourself getting triggered more often during certain periods of stress.
There are many different relaxation techniques that can be helpful in managing PTSD symptoms. Some of these include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery. These techniques can help to reduce anxiety and improve your overall sense of well-being. They are the most effective when used on a regular basis and when combined with other treatment methods.
Track your progress
It can be helpful to keep track of your PTSD symptoms over time. This may include tracking your moods or rating your symptoms on a scale from 0 to 100. This can help you to identify any patterns in your symptoms and see how effective different treatment methods are for you. It can also help you to recognize the progress that you’ve made. Writing about your experiences can also be very helpful. This can help you to process the trauma and to express any emotions that you may be feeling. If you’re not sure what to write about, some prompts that may be helpful include:
- What are my current symptoms?
- When do my symptoms occur?
- What triggers my symptoms?
- How do my symptoms affect my daily life?
- What is one positive thing that has happened since the trauma occurred?
This exercise can be very helpful in identifying any patterns in your symptoms and in recognizing the progress that you’ve made. It can also help to identify any areas that may need additional attention.
Exercise can also be very beneficial for people with PTSD. It can help to release tension, improve sleep, and boost your mood. It is important to find an exercise routine that works for you and to start slowly if you’re not used to being active. Doing so can also help you release any pent-up energy that may be contributing to your symptoms. Some people find that yoga or Tai Chi are particularly helpful in managing their symptoms.
Get involved in your community
There can be a lot of isolation after experiencing a traumatic event. Getting involved in your community can help to reduce this isolation and to give you a sense of purpose. There are many different ways to get involved, such as volunteering, joining a club or organization, or attending community events. This can also help you to meet other people who may be going through similar experiences.
Utilize support system
It is also important to develop a support system of family and friends who can offer you love and understanding. These people can provide an outlet for you to express your feelings and experiences. They can also offer practical help, such as childcare or transportation. Relying on your trusted ones can also help to reduce any feelings of isolation or loneliness. You can also slowly start to relearn to trust people again.
Eat a good diet
Eating a healthy diet is also important for people with PTSD. Certain foods can help to improve mood and energy levels, while others can contribute to anxiety and sleep problems. It is important to experiment with different foods and see what works for you. Some essential nutrients for people with PTSD include omega-three fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamin B.
Get adequate sleep
Getting enough sleep is also vital for people with PTSD. Sleep can help to improve mood, energy levels, and concentration. It can also reduce stress and anxiety levels. Creating a bedtime routine can be very helpful in getting enough rest. This may include taking a warm bath before bed or reading a relaxation script. Establishing a regular sleep schedule can also be beneficial.
It is important to remember that everyone responds to trauma differently and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. However, these strategies may be helpful for you in managing your PTSD symptoms.
PTSD from cheating can be a very difficult experience to go through, but there is hope for healing and recovery. With the right treatment plan and support system, you can start to feel better and live a fuller life. These coping mechanisms may not work for everyone, so be sure to ask your mental health professional about other options that may be available to you. Do not hesitate to reach out for help if you are struggling. There are many resources available to you. Please remember that you are not alone in this.
PTSD can be a very difficult condition to live with, but there are many treatment options available. With the help of a mental health professional, you can develop a treatment plan that works for you. You may also find self-help strategies to be helpful in managing your symptoms.
If you are struggling with symptoms of PTSD from cheating or any other mental health struggles, contact Mantra Care! We have a team of expert mental health professionals providing the best quality psychological treatment. Our services are confidential, safe, affordable, and also very effective. You can visit our website to book a session or download our free Android or iOS app for more information!