Scam Victims Often Begin Recovery But Find They Give Up Early Before They Are Fully Recovered
This Is Called: Recovery Fatigue
Recovery Fatigue is a real thing and it affects people going through recovery programs for trauma, emotional distress, and even in drug and alcohol programs
Recovery fatigue can cause people recovering from emotional distress to give up on their recovery early or to believe they have already fully recovered when they may not have. This is because recovery from emotional distress can be a long and challenging process, and it can be difficult to stay motivated and engaged in the process when progress seems slow or non-existent.
People experiencing recovery fatigue may start to feel like they are not making progress or that their efforts are not producing results, leading them to question whether continuing the recovery process is worth it. This can cause them to stop actively working towards their recovery or to adopt the mindset that they are already “recovered,” even if they have not fully resolved the underlying issues causing their emotional distress.
It can also cause the mistaken belief that they are already recovered because their symptoms are either very infrequent or are not causing the level of distress they previously felt.
It’s important for individuals experiencing recovery fatigue to seek support from mental health professionals, support groups (such as SCARS,) or trusted friends and family members to help them stay engaged in the recovery process and work towards achieving their goals – regardless of how long it takes.
It’s also essential to remember that recovery is not a linear process, and setbacks and challenges are a normal part of the journey. With persistence and a commitment to self-care, people can overcome recovery fatigue and continue making progress toward emotional healing and wellbeing.
Recovery Fatigue And Scam Victims
Recovery from emotional distress can be a long and challenging process, especially for scam victims, and it’s not uncommon for individuals to experience feelings of fatigue or burnout along the way.
This can manifest as a lack of motivation, a sense of hopelessness or frustration, and even the belief that one has already fully recovered, even if they have not. It can also show up as a feeling that they have recovered enough – in other words, resignation.
This phenomenon is known as recovery fatigue, and it can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to successfully navigate the recovery process.
Recovery fatigue can be particularly problematic for financial fraud victims recovering from emotional distress because the recovery process can be long and challenging (see the typical recovery people infographic for the recovery curve for most scam victims that do recover.)
Unlike physical injuries, emotional distress can be harder to quantify and diagnose, which can make it more difficult to track progress and celebrate victories along the way. Additionally, the nature of emotional distress can be such that it can make people feel isolated and disconnected from others, which can further exacerbate feelings of fatigue and burnout. But there is also a kind of built-in impatience to get recovery over.
Is It Worth It?
When people experience recovery fatigue, they may begin to question whether the recovery process is worth it or whether they are making progress.
They may feel like they are stuck in a cycle of setbacks and challenges, with no end in sight. Or that they are doing just fine and really do not need to participate in the recovery process anymore! As a result, they may be tempted to give up on their recovery early or to adopt the mindset that they are already “recovered,” even if they have not fully resolved the underlying issues causing their emotional distress (such as past traumas, present trauma, grief, self-blame or shame, or the vulnerabilities that led them to be lured iin.)
Believing that one has already fully recovered when they have not can be particularly problematic because it can cause individuals to stop actively working toward their recovery. They may believe that they have done all they can or need to do to address their emotional distress and that any remaining issues are just something they need to live with. This can be dangerous because it can prevent individuals from fully healing and moving on from their emotional distress, trauma, or grief, potentially leading to long-term mental health challenges.
Avoiding Recovery Fatigue
To avoid recovery fatigue and the potential pitfalls that come with it, scam victims recovering from emotional distress should take steps to maintain their motivation and commitment to the recovery process.
One effective strategy is to celebrate small victories along the way, such as achieving a goal or making progress toward a specific milestone. This can help individuals stay motivated and engaged in the recovery process, even when progress seems slow or non-existent. In the SCARS support groups, we celebrate time in recovery after the scam ended.
Another strategy is to seek support from mental health trauma professionals (which SCARS strongly recommends for all scam victims,) joining a SCARS support group (visit support.AgainstScams.org to sign up now,) or trusted friends and family members (see the support infographic below.) Having a strong support network can provide individuals with the encouragement and accountability they need to stay engaged in the recovery process and work towards achieving their goals. Additionally, support networks can provide a sense of belonging and connection that can help individuals feel less isolated and alone in their recovery journey.
It’s also important to remember that recovery is not a linear process, and setbacks and challenges are a normal part of the journey. But also feeling like you just want it over is also normal. Scam victims recovering from emotional distress should be prepared for the ups and downs that come with the recovery process and be willing to adjust their expectations and goals as needed. This can help them stay flexible and adaptable, which can be critical to successfully navigating the recovery process.
Just remember, this is not an overnight process. It typically takes from about 18 months to several years to reasonably recover form these crimes. The more focused a victim is during their recovery the faster and more complete it will go.
Overcoming Recovery Fatigue
How can emotionally distressed crime victims avoid becoming recovery fatigued?
Victims of crime (scam victims) often experience a range of emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health challenges. Recovering from such distress can be a long and challenging process taking months or even years, and it’s not uncommon for victims to experience recovery fatigue, which can cause them to give up on their recovery early or believe they have already fully recovered, even if they have not.
To avoid recovery fatigue and successfully navigate the recovery process, emotionally distressed scam victims should consider the following strategies:
Seek Professional Help: One of the most important steps emotionally distressed crime victims can take is to seek professional help from a mental health trauma professional. Mental health professionals are trained to provide evidence-based treatments for a wide range of emotional distress, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Seeking help from a mental health professional can provide victims with the tools and support they need to manage their symptoms and work toward recovery. It is also important to help them overcome past trauma and to fully understand the things that helped to make them vulnerable in the first place.
Counseling and Therapy Resources:
In addition, SCARS offers a free counseling & therapy benefit to its SCARS STAR Membership Program in partnership with BetterHelp.com
Join a SCARS Support Group: SCARS support groups can be a valuable resource for emotionally distressed scam victims. Joining a support group can provide a sense of community and connection, as well as a safe space to share experiences and receive educational support from the professionals at SCARS. Victims who have gone through similar challenges can help support other victims. Support groups can also help victims feel less alone in their recovery journey and provide a sense of hope and encouragement. Visit support.AgainstScams.org to sign up for a SCARS Support & Recovery Group.
Practice Self-Care: Practicing self-care is essential for emotionally distressed crime victims. This can include engaging in activities that promote relaxation and stress relief, such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, or deep breathing (somatic) exercises. It can also involve making healthy lifestyle choices, such as getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, and engaging in regular exercise. Taking care of oneself is critical to managing emotional distress and avoiding recovery fatigue.
Set Realistic Goals: Setting realistic goals is an important part of successfully navigating the recovery process. Emotionally distressed scam victims should work with their mental health professionals to set achievable goals that align with their recovery needs and abilities. Breaking larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps can also help victims stay motivated and engaged in the recovery process. SCARS pioneered the application of a Steps Process into its support & recovery groups (see below.)
Celebrate Progress: Celebrating progress, no matter how small, can help emotionally distressed crime victims stay motivated and engaged in the recovery process. This can involve acknowledging even the smallest of achievements, such as completing a therapy session or attending a SCARS support group zoom meeting or just honoring the time victims have stayed in recovery since the end of their scam. Celebrating progress can provide a sense of accomplishment and help victims stay focused on their recovery goals.
Be Patient: Recovery from emotional distress is a process that takes time and patience. Emotionally distressed scam victims should be prepared for the ups and downs that come with the recovery journey and be willing to adjust their expectations and goals as needed. This process takes significant time – grief needs to process, much needs to be learned, and trauma needs to be managed. Being patient and persistent can help victims stay focused on their recovery goals and avoid the sense of hopelessness, frustration, or apathy that can lead to recovery fatigue.
Always remember, emotionally distressed scam victims can avoid recovery fatigue and successfully navigate the recovery process by seeking professional help, joining a SCARS support group, practicing self-care, setting realistic goals, celebrating progress, and being patient.
By taking these steps and staying committed to their recovery journey, scam victims can make it fully through the recovery process!
Recovery fatigue can cause scam victims recovering from emotional distress to give up on their recovery early or to believe they have already fully recovered when they may not have.
This can be problematic because it can prevent individuals from fully healing and moving on from their emotional distress, potentially leading to long-term mental health challenges.
To avoid recovery fatigue and the potential pitfalls that come with it, scam victims recovering from emotional distress should take steps to maintain their motivation and commitment to the recovery process, seek support from mental health trauma professionals and join SCARS support groups, and be prepared for the ups and downs that come with the recovery journey.
With persistence and a commitment to self-care, individuals can successfully navigate the recovery process and achieve emotional healing and well-being.