7 Stages of Trauma Bonding | Banyan Boca

7 Stages of Trauma Bonding

 

When a person forms a relationship with a toxic individual, then does not leave the potentially dangerous association, this is referred to as trauma bonding. A person will find comfort in the familiarity of the relationship, although it’s abusive. These types of connections are usually formed slowly over time, so the sufferer does not tend to see the overall problem right away. Keep reading to learn the seven stages of trauma bonding. 

What Are the 7 Stages of Trauma Bonding?  

Breaking a trauma bond is a complex process since a person will grow a strong bond, or even idolize, their abuser. People tend to accept the abuse and not flee the unhealthy relationship, especially if they experienced trauma or neglect in the past. Sufferers will use the form of abuse as a coping mechanism or a distraction. Some may feel they deserve the abuse or are belittled by their abuser and made to think they are worthless and dependent.  

The 7 stages of trauma bonding include:  

  1. Love Bombing: The abuser will use flattery and display intense affection to gain the trust or emotions of another.  
  2. Trust & Dependency: The person will work hard to gain your trust and loyalty and begin to show signs of dependence.  
  3. Criticism: Slowly but surely, the abuser will criticize the person, belittling and blaming them while also seeking validation.  
  4. Gaslighting: The sufferer will begin to constantly question themselves due to the abuser attempting to change the way they think and take the blame, even when not at fault.  
  5. Resignation: Coping with the uncertainty by doing what the abuser says, trying to feel the emotions, and triggering the person to act the way they did in stage one.  
  6. Loss of Self: The sufferer will have a lack of confidence and may feel mentally drained from fighting and deciding not to fight back with the abuser since the behavior seems to worsen. 
  7. Addiction: The body feels spikes of cortisol, which causes feelings of stress, and then feels an increase in dopamine or the reward chemical in the brain. These highs and lows formulate a physical dependence on the person.  

The trauma bonding cycle continues, and the longer a person stays in the situation, then the cognitive impairment and proper brain functioning complications arise. Breaking trauma bonds is not easy, but a person will begin to feel more confident and independent after recovering from long-term abuse. Motivational therapy and other unique techniques can benefit a person who has suffered from verbal or physical abuse.  

Signs of trauma bonding include feeling like you do not enjoy the other person’s presence, even feeling intense emotions of dislike, but you still cannot leave the relationship, and if you are telling others about your disturbing experiences but are disregarding the neglect. After recognition, not addressing the manipulation is a sign of denial, which can lead to severe distress.  

How to Heal From Trauma Bonding 

People who are suffering in a relationship and feeling as though they cannot leave can have hope that there is a release from this toxicity. Finding a mental health wellness center that includes individual and group therapy or a faith-based program provides excellent options and encourages expression and emotional regulation. In addition, here are some ways to heal from trauma bonding:  

  • Learn to grieve  
  • Avoid self-blame 
  • Practice self-care  
  • Cut off all contact  
  • Establish a support group  
  • Begin writing your emotions  
  • Commit to practicing being in the moment 
  • Write about what you noticed triggered the abuser 

Developing a self-care plan can involve a plan for you to begin a new life away from the abuser. Create new short-term goals and stick to them. It is essential to remind yourself that you are powerful, and that abuse has a negative impact on your life. Change starts with you.  

Trauma Bonding Recovery at Boca Behavioral Health Center 

At Banyan Treatment Centers Boca, we offer residential treatment to individuals who are seeking mental health care. Our medical staff prepares a clean and secure environment so patients can feel safe to express their thoughts and emotions. We use numerous therapeutic methods and techniques so patients can learn how to cope and function in everyday life.  

Speak to a specialist at Banyan Boca by calling 888-280-4763 and get started on your recovery journey today! 

 

Related Readings:  

Crisis Intervention Techniques for Mental Health  

Why Mental Health Support Is Necessary for Recovery 

Alyssa
Alyssa
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.


Get the help you need today at Banyan.

Don't surrender your life to addiction, take control and get your life back today. Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers have helped thousands of people empower themselves to take back control of their lives. It's time for your roots to grow in new soil!