How Trauma Can Cause Paranoia
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even milder forms of trauma has a variety of symptoms that present differently in each individual who has experienced a traumatic and life-altering event, such as a romance scam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. or other type of relationship fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements.
A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim..
Traumatic experiences lead to psychological trauma which can leave one feeling helpless and struggling with upsetting emotions that seem to never go away.
This is the result of an unexpected or repeated overwhelming event such as the emotional abuse and manipulation that comes from a trust relationship What Is Trust In A Relationship? Trust is the faith you have in someone that they will always remain loyal to you, honest, reliable, or love you. To trust someone means that you can rely on them and are comfortable confiding in them because you feel safe with them. It is the building block for any relationship without which the foundation will always remain shaky. gone wrong.
PTSD is often associated with war veterans but they are not the only ones who experience it. Survivors A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com of relationship scams A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money!
Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? also can exhibit symptoms of PTSD.
Trauma itself is a lot more common than most people realize and the after-effects of trauma can be unbearable or dangerous for some. This is why it’s important to seek out professional trauma counselors or therapists for help. A licensed therapist or counselor can help evaluate a scam victim and develop healthy coping strategies, which might or might not include a victims’ support group In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers..
Without that support, trauma can make a victim increasingly more paranoid resulting in emotionally harming themselves or others while coping with the symptoms. Both trauma and paranoia are treatable mental health Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health". conditions.
CAN TRAUMA CAUSE PARANOIA?
Studies have shown that while trauma does increase the likelihood of paranoia, it does not cause paranoia. This means that someone who has experienced trauma in their lifetime has a greater chance of experiencing paranoia in the form of hypervigilance Hypervigilance is when the nervous system is not correctly filtering sensory information and the individual is in an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity. This appears to be linked to a dysregulated nervous system which can often be caused by traumatic events or PTSD. Normally, the nervous system releases stress signals in certain situations as a defense mechanism to protect people from perceived dangers. In some cases, the nervous system becomes chronically dysregulated, causing a release of stress signals that are inappropriate to the situation and create inappropriate and exaggerated responses. Hypervigilance may bring about a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion. Other symptoms include: abnormally increased arousal, a high responsiveness to stimuli, and a constant scanning of the environment. of the mind and body.
But trauma can regularly be triggered that results in a fear response, and this can manifest as paranoia as well!
Paranoia symptoms show up differently in everyone and usually are not as severe, as in a classical diagnosis for paranoia. But, it can be more mentally self-destructive Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in daily life and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common Self-Defeating behaviors include procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury such as cutting., for instance, when scam victims’ thoughts and perceptions about themselves can be very negative. This paranoia fear response also decreases their ability to accept and receive help.
Research indicates a strong association specifically between trauma and psychosis when it comes to hallucinations. This paranoia can cause extreme anxiety and distress because those hallucinations can be trauma-related triggers A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience.. Similar to PTSD flashbacks A flashback is reexperiencing a previous traumatic experience as if it were actually happening in that moment. It includes reactions that often resemble the client’s reactions during the trauma. Flashback experiences are very brief and typically last only a few seconds, but the emotional aftereffects linger for hours or longer. Flashbacks are commonly initiated by a trigger, but not necessarily.. It’s important to note that most people who access counseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes.
A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists".
SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. have not experienced symptoms that are this severe, but again each person is different. If a person is experiencing psychosis, delusions or hallucinations, the best practice would be to contact a psychiatrist immediately.
Trauma can lead some to become more avoidant, distant, or hypervigilant of people and their surroundings. This can turn into distrust of those that are or have been helping or supporting them.
WHAT IS HYPERVIGILANCE?
Individuals who are hypervigilant are constantly anticipating the occurrence of something. Some are more likely to be aware of their surroundings because their trauma led them to question their safety at all times. Others will tend to go into shut down mode, and this can trigger A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. greater anxiety as events and situations surprise them constantly. Anything out of the limited ordinary can trigger a fear or paranoia response.
Hypervigilance isn’t abnormal because it is our body’s way of protecting us from harm. It’s important for people to be aware of their surroundings so that the appropriate survival response can come online should there be a genuine danger. However, for some, the default response to stimulus becomes the flight mode – meaning fear.
While people experiencing trauma have a valid reason to be on alert. It isn’t necessary to be on guard at all times when there is no known or real threat in the present moment. Their level of hypervigilance can disrupt them from recovering from their trauma or leading a better life for themselves.
Examples of trauma-induced hypervigilance include:
- Avoiding spaces where there is too much of a threat – too much activity
- Being easily scared or jumpy at any sudden noise or movement
- Being distrustful of any new situation even from people otherwise trusted
- Believing there is an incoming or imminent threat around the corner
- Arming oneself with weapons to protect them from perceived threats – can be dangerous especially if someone is jumpy and uses a weapon on someone without properly assessing what they believe is a threat
- More secrecy than is called for, and paranoia about discovery
- Loss of sleep and sleep deprivation
- Fatigue, being constantly tired
- Trouble focusing on learning or the logic of things that may affect them – including understanding relatively simple concepts
If YOU begin to avoid public spaces, avoid people, or take extra precautions to ensure your safety, engage in increased secrecy, or more frequent fear responses to normal situations, then your trauma may be increasing.
It’s important for you to seek professional help. This is not the role of a support group and is not a service that SCARS provides. Here is a directory of professional trauma counselors and therapists: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/trauma-and-ptsd
You deserve to live a life that is yours without having to be on guard at all times.