SCARS™ Psychology of Scams: Repeating The Scam – Engaging In Risky Behavior Over & Over
During the formative years of contemporary psychiatry, much attention was paid to the continuing role of past traumatic experiences on the current lives of people. Charcot, Janet, and Freud all noted that fragmented memories of traumatic events dominated the mental life of many of their patient and built their theories about the nature and treatment of psychopathology on this recognition.
Janet thought that traumatic memories of traumatic events persist as unassimilated fixed ideas that act as foci for the development of alternate states of consciousness, including dissociative phenomena, such as fugue states, amnesias, and chronic states of helplessness and depression.
Unbidden memories of the trauma may return as physical sensations, horrific images or nightmares, behavioral reenactments, or a combination of these. Janet showed how traumatized
individuals become fixated on the trauma: difficulties in assimilating subsequent experiences as well. It is “as if their personality development has stopped at a certain point and cannot expand anymore by the addition or assimilation of new elements.”
Freud independently came to similar conclusions. Initially, he thought all hysterical symptoms were caused by childhood sexual “seduction” of which unconscious memories were activated when during adolescence, a person was exposed to situations reminiscent of the original trauma. The trauma permanently disturbed
the capacity to deal with other challenges, and the victim who did not integrate the trauma was doomed to “repeat the repressed material as a contemporary experience in instead or . . . remembering it as something belonging to the past.”
In the article below, the author shows how the trauma is repeated on behavioral, emotional, physiologic, and neuroendocrinological levels, whose confluence explains the diversity of repetition phenomena.
Many traumatized people expose themselves, seemingly compulsively, to situations reminiscent of the original trauma. These behavioral reenactments are rarely consciously understood to be related to earlier life experiences. This “repetition compulsion” has received surprisingly little systematic exploration during the 70 years since its discovery, though it is regularly described in the clinical literature.
Freud thought that the aim of repetition was to gain mastery, but clinical experience has shown that this rarely happens; instead, repetition causes further suffering for the victims or for people in their surroundings.
Over the decades, the science of psychology and the understanding of trauma has advanced incredibly. But in our history of working with scam victims, we have struggled to understand the psychology of the recidivism and proclivity of continued risk-taking after the trauma of a scam – why some people repeatedly put themselves out there to be scammed over and over. This may be an explanation that victims can understand and use to help guide them away from these repetitive and destructive behaviors.
Part of the reason for sharing this information is to help all victims and their families understand that scam, especially romance scam trauma can have profound and lasting effects on the victim. It is very important that these issues are addressed from a healthcare perspective and that every victim seeks out trauma counseling or therapy to successfully recover their future!
The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma
Re-enactment, Revictimization, and Masochism
By Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD
TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Scams, Scammers, Fraudsters, Cybercrime, Crybercriminals, Romance Scams, Scam Victims, Re-enactment, Revictimization, Compulsion to Repeat, Repeating the Trauma, Scam Repetition, Scam Recidivism
The Latest SCARS Posts:
– – –
Tell us about your experiences with Romance Scammers in our
« Scams Discussion Forum on Facebook »
– – –
FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- U.S. State Police (if you live in the U.S.) – they will take the matter more seriously and provide you with more help than local police
- Your National Police or FBI « www.IC3.gov »
- The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network on « www.Anyscam.com »
This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.
– – –
To learn more about SCARS visit « www.AgainstScams.org »
Please be sure to report all scammers
on « www.Anyscam.com »
SCARS IS A DIGITAL PUBLISHER AND DOES NOT OFFER HEALTH OR MEDICAL ADVICE, LEGAL ADVICE, FINANCIAL ADVICE, OR SERVICES THAT SCARS IS NOT LICENSED OR REGISTERED TO PERFORM.
IF YOU’RE FACING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, CALL YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY SERVICES IMMEDIATELY, OR VISIT THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM OR URGENT CARE CENTER. YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE FOLLOWING ANY MEDICALLY RELATED INFORMATION PRESENTED ON OUR PAGES.
ALWAYS CONSULT A LICENSED ATTORNEY FOR ANY ADVICE REGARDING LEGAL MATTERS.
A LICENSED FINANCIAL OR TAX PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE CONSULTED BEFORE ACTING ON ANY INFORMATION RELATING TO YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES OR TAX RELATED ISSUES AND INFORMATION.
This content and other material contained on the website, apps, newsletter, and products (“Content”), is general in nature and for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or financial advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for licensed or regulated professional advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider, lawyer, financial or tax professional with any questions you may have regarding the educational information contained herein. SCARS makes no guarantees about the efficacy of information described on or in SCARS’s Content. The information contained are subject to change and are not intended to cover all possible situations or effects. SCARS does not recommend or endorse any specific professional or care provider, product, service, or other information that may be mentioned in SCARS’s websites, apps, and Content unless explicitly identified as such.
All original content is Copyright © 1991 – 2020 Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. (D.B.A SCARS) All Rights Reserved Worldwide & Webwide. Third-party copyrights acknowledge.
SCARS, SCARS|INTERNATIONAL, SCARS, SCARS|SUPPORT, SCARS, RSN, Romance Scams Now, SCARS|WORLDWIDE, SCARS|GLOBAL, SCARS, Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams, Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, SCARS|ANYSCAM, Project Anyscam, Anyscam, SCARS|GOFCH, GOFCH, SCARS|CHINA, SCARS|CDN, SCARS|UK, SCARS|LATINOAMERICA, SCARS|MEMBER, SCARS|VOLUNTEER, SCARS Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support Group, are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
Contact the law firm for the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated by email at legal@AgainstScams.org