Most people view getting out of a toxic relationship as the end of that chapter in their lives. Some go on to start fresh, with a new and exciting relationship. Some people prefer to go at it solo for a while and find themselves or work on personal goals they have set. Unfortunately for a select few, there is a third reaction to ending emotionally draining relationships. Some people suffer the aftermath of what Healthcare professionals are now called post-traumatic relationship syndrome or PTRS.
WHAT IS POST TRAUMATIC RELATIONSHIP SYNDROME:
It has been proposed that a new mental health syndrome join the ranks as a growing problem in the United States. Post-traumatic relationship syndrome occurs after ending a relationship that was toxic and mentally damaging to one or both of the people involved. Usually, someone in the relationship has been traumatized by severe physical, emotional, or sexual abuse from their partner and is having trouble coping as an after effect of the relationship.
The trauma-based syndrome is specific to the abuse from your significant other and after the relationship ends. When you cannot move past the conditions from which they've emerged, the symptoms of PTRS can last for quite some time. They can range from mildly upsetting to inhibiting simple daily tasks. These should be addressed with a therapist or even in some cases anxiety or depression medication may be prescribed.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PTRS?
Somebody who is experiencing Post Traumatic Relationship Syndrome may be experiencing one or all of these conditions. Depending on the severity, they should be treated with the same seriousness you would any other mental health concerns.
Feelings going back and forth between relief and severe guilt
Most people get a sense of relief after finally ending a toxic relationship. However, people experiencing PTRS will have a sense of guilt and relief fighting with themselves on what they're supposed to be feeling. This is often where people will revert back to their relationships.
Feelings of loneliness and worthlessness, isolating yourself
Not wanting to be around people can become a concern. When it leads to not being able to get past the feelings of self-doubt or feeling like you're "damaged goods". After the relief is over and the doubt starts kicking in there can be periods of wasteful time and purposely being away from others to make yourself feel the loneliness.
Having a difficult time letting go
Obsessing over the details of a failed relationship can become unhealthy if you start experiencing intrusive thoughts. You should be concerned if you are not able to re-center and focus on yourself, or if you start crying out of nowhere and have trouble controlling your emotions in public.
Anxiety and Nightmares or flashbacks
If you are experiencing severe anxiety to the point where you might be having flashbacks of old fights or the physical trauma and having nightmares that are waking you up or preventing you from sleeping, you should seek professional guidance immediately. These types of anxieties can lead to dangerous actions and should be taken very seriously. This is an unhealthy reaction to a breakup or loss of somebody in your life. Should you start having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else you should seek medical attention right away.
YOU CAN MOVE PAST THIS AND REGAIN YOUR LIFE!
Even though these are extreme circumstances in ending a relationship you should not feel embarrassed or hesitant to seek help when needed. Remember you're not alone in this situation and there is help out there should you find yourself needing it. Nobody should cause you this much emotional stress or anxiety. When you learn to tell yourself that you did not deserve what you were going through and you have every right to be proud of yourself for ending the abuse you will start to heal.
Surround yourself with friends and family. Find extracurricular activities to fill up your time. Talk to a therapist about healthy ways to express your pain and learn healthy coping mechanisms from professionals. Do not try to isolate yourself or self-medicate as this will only make your situation worse. Spend some time alone to move past and regain control of your life. You can find a healthy, happy, and strong relationship and learn to love yourself again.