12 Symptoms of Post Relationship Stress Disorder

12 Symptoms of Post Relationship Stress Disorder

Post Relationship Stress Disorder is something that is extremely hard to deal with, and the trauma that it brings with it can be extremely debilitating, both mentally and psychologically.

Man is a social animal. From birth till death, we enter into different relationships. Some relationships are nurturing and nourish us while some may turn out to be abusive or destructive.

If we face sexual, physical, or emotional abuse (abandonment, rejection, or victimization) in our intimate relationships, it can have long term debilitating effects on our lives.

In psychological terms, the trauma that is caused by physical, sexual, or emotional abuse within an intimate relationship setting is referred to as Post-Traumatic Relationship Syndrome (PTRS).

Here are 12 signs that indicate that a person might be suffering from Post Relationship Stress Disorder or Post-Traumatic Relationship Syndrome and what to do about it:

1) Changes in response and coping mechanism.

Generally, a person has a wide range of coping mechanisms at his disposal and he utilizes them optimally by choosing the appropriate response from the entire range of options in a calm and relaxed state of mind.

But, if a person is suffering from trauma, then the range of coping mechanisms available to him are very restricted. He is not able to access the calm state of mind and choose a situation appropriate response from a wide range of coping mechanisms. His response and coping mechanisms mostly involve fear, terror, panic, horror, and rage.

2) Flashback and nightmares.

If a person has gone through extreme relationship stress or undergone abuse in any form: physical, mental, or emotional in intimate relationships, then it can have a long range effect on an individual’s psyche.

A person can start having flashbacks, hallucinations and vivid memories of the events that triggered trauma as if they are reliving it.

They can also start having nightmares of their partner yelling at them, cheating on them, betraying or abandoning them.

It can make a person extremely scared, vulnerable and hopeless because the haunting memories do not seem to leave them.

Related: How Mindfulness Meditation For Panic Disorder Can Help You

3) Anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive thoughts.

If you have suffered from abuse in your intimate relationships, it can shake your entire world view.

Post Relationship Stress Disorder can shake your foundational beliefs like:

This world is a benign place or good things happen to good people or one is well equipped to handle crisis situations.

The mistrust and fear can give rise to persistent anxiety and panic attacks and a constant underlying feeling of living on the edge.

Sometimes people who have suffered from traumatic relationships also get caught in the loop of obsessive thoughts. They keep on wondering “What was their fault?”, “What could they have done better?” and take a lot of time to come to terms and accept the situation and let go of the obsessive self-critical thoughts.

4) Feeling of suspicion and distrust.

We are mostly off guard in our intimate relationships because we trust the other person to take care of our well being. But if we are abused by the same person whom we trusted wholeheartedly, it breaks our foundation of trust.

The survivors of PTRS tend to get into a hyper-vigilance mode. They always have their guard up and become full of suspicion. They feel like the world is out there to get them and find it difficult to trust people easily.

5) Sleep disturbances.

If your mind and heart are not at peace, it is almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep.

The pain and anxiety can manifest more profusely at night in the form of nightmares, flashbacks, night sweats. It can seriously hamper the sleep cycle of an individual and result in acute insomnia.

6) Persistent feelings of rage and anger.

The feelings of pain and hurt can lead to extreme bitterness, rage, and anger in an individual towards the perpetrator of trauma. It also impacts their ability to see the brighter side of life and they may start hating even those things which they previously enjoyed.

7) Restlessness and listlessness.

Depression and pain can manifest in two ways, it can either lead to extreme restlessness on one hand and listlessness on the other hand.

People who have suffered from PTRS can either become extremely sad or mourn a lot on one hand or emotionally numb on other hand. They can just shut down and check out emotionally in order to protect themselves from any further pain.

8) Extreme weight loss or gain.

Extreme weight loss or gain is a sign that your body is undergoing trauma.

When you are in an abusive relationship, it feels like you are walking on eggshells and it activates the fight or flight response in your body. It in turn affects your energy and immune system and results in extreme weight loss or gain.

Related: 4 Steps That Help You Bid Goodbye To Depression

9) Not feeling safe or secure in the world.

Traumatic stressors in an intimate relationship challenge a person’s very foundational belief system and knowledge of self/world. They are not able to trust that the world is a safe place and people are kind in general.

They also start questioning their own self as to how they could not recognize the abuser’s intentions earlier and start doubting their ability to judge a person accurately.

They also lose confidence in their ability to deal with crisis situations because they extrapolate their response in this traumatic situation to mean that, this is how they are always going to respond to crisis situations.

To get out of this cycle of painful belief systems, a person has to slowly and gradually adopt new paradigms and belief systems.

10) Fear of intimate relationships (or a particular type of intimate relationship).

The devastating effects of trauma caused due to stressors in intimate relationships are far more than in other traumatic situations because of the human element involved.

It is because we are attached to the individual and trust them completely and when that trust is broken in an intimate relationship, it can severely impair our ability to trust people in intimate relationships.

It can lead to a lot of physical arousal symptoms like fear and panic and the individual eventually begins to associate these feelings with that particular kind of relationship.

For example, if a person has suffered any kind of abuse in romantic relationships, he may become extremely cautious and fearful of only intimate romantic relationships whereas he can function normally and enjoy other relationships.

Related : 8 Profound Lessons Intimate Relationships Teach Us

11) Sexual promiscuity or complete lack of interest in sexual activities.

Sometimes people who have suffered sexual abuse can turn to sexual promiscuity as a way to regain their power or to numb their pain by indulging in casual sex.

On the other hand, some survivors of sexual abuse can turn totally averse to the idea of sexual intimacy. They may even flinch at the slightest touch as they fear the emotions and pain will resurface if they indulge in sexual activities.

12) Self-blaming, excessive crying, and social isolation.

Post Relationship Stress Disorder can make someone extremely self-critical. They keep on wondering what was their role in the downfall of the relationship or if they could have done anything different to save the relationship.

The extreme pain and hurt can lead to persistent periods of inconsolable crying and mourning. The pain is often accompanied by feelings of shame and guilt and a person goes into a period of social isolation.

Related: Finding Peace After A Toxic Relationship

How to heal from PTRS

The first step to heal from PTRS is to be kind towards your own self. It was not your fault if the person you trusted turned out to be an abuser. You have already gone through immense pain and stress and you deserve every bit of your own love and compassion. Make your healing a priority over everything else.

Seek counseling or any other kind of professional help, take up hobbies that you enjoy, do volunteer work, join support groups, indulge in self-care rituals, or go for a spiritual or meditation retreat. Create healthy boundaries. Learn to say no. Don’t let anyone suck the energy out of your life. Be selfish with your time and energy.

But don’t rush your healing process. Be kind and patient with yourself like you would be with a friend who is undergoing suffering.

It’s ok to not be ok for some time. Do not numb or run away from your emotions, this way you will only trap them in your system. Instead, feel them and let them out.

“You need to be as patient as someone ill and as optimistic as one recuperating, for perhaps you are both. And more: You are also the physician who must watch over yourself. But in the course of every illness, there are many days in which the physician can do nothing but wait. And that, above all, to the extent that you are your own physician, you must do now.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

12 Symptoms of Post Relationship Stress Disorder
Post Relationship Stress Disorder
12 Symptoms of Post Relationship Stress Disorder

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Up Next

The Emotionally Absent Mother: Overcoming Her Legacy And Healing From The Wounds

The Emotionally Absent Mother: Healing From The Wounds

Having an emotionally absent mother can take a heavy toll on your mental and emotional well-being, and that too from a very young age. This article is going to explore what it means to have an emotionally unavailable mother, how her emotional absence can affect you and how to heal from it and move on.

Growing up with a mother who wasn’t emotionally available may have complicated your relationship with your emotions. Our early experiences of emotional attunement play an important part in the subsequent regulation of our emotions.

An emotionally absent mother may fail to develop the kind of satisfying attachment bonds in her children that make sustaining ordinary relationships possible.

Up Next

Is It Love Or A Trap? 10 Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing

Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing: Love Or Trap?

Have you ever experienced the turbulent side of love, that comes from falling head over heels for someone? The butterflies in your stomach, the passion you feel, and the feeling of being swept off your feet – feels amazing, doesn’t it? But what if I told you that behind this seemingly perfect façade lies something dark and sinister? What if I told you these are warning signs of love bombing?

Welcome to the dark world of love bombing; a psychological tactic used by manipulative people to gain control over your mind and heart. In this article, we will talk about what does love bombing mean, and the signs you are being love bombed.

Let’s get started first with what does love bombing mean, shal

Up Next

Surviving Toxic Friendships: 15 Shocking Signs Of An Abusive Friend You Can’t Afford To Ignore

Signs of an Abusive Friend: Surviving Toxic Friendships

Do you feel like your BFF is jealous of you? Do they constantly criticize and always try to influence your decisions? Are they always around when they need a favor from you, but immediately disappear when you need support? Then it is likely you have a toxic, abusive friend. Let us explore the signs of an abusive friend and how to deal with an abusive friend.

A friendship is one of the most authentic and purest forms of relationships we can experience as it is not bound by blood or any compulsion. Friendships are born out of mutual respect, support, companionship and happiness. Our friends support us and pick us up when we are down and guide us when we stray too far.

However, some individuals use the mask of friendship simply to exploit, dominate and abuse us. They pretend to be our friends as long as we are of use to them and freque

Up Next

The Playbook Of Deceit: 11 Narcissistic Games Used To Torment You

Narcissistic Games Used To Torment: Playbook Of Deceit

Have you ever encountered someone that made you question your own sanity? Or found yourself caught in a web of manipulation, unsure of how you got there? If so, then you may have encountered a narcissist and have been a victim of narcissistic games.

Narcissists are masters at psychological games. A charming smile hides their darker agenda as they play several mind games to control and exploit you. These mind games narcissists play can be psychologically damaging, without you even realizing it at times.

In this article, we’ll unravel 11 narcissistic games, exposing all their tactics, so that you don’t fall

Up Next

Under The Narcissistic Veil: The Struggles Of Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers

Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers: Understanding Their Struggles

Having a narcissistic mother is, safe to say, one of the most traumatic things to go through. Sons of narcissistic mothers look at the world and relationships in an entirely skewed way, and this is due to the lessons they have learned growing up with a narcissistic mother.


The worldview of a young man whose mother has narcissistic personality disorder becomes skewed.

NPD is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy, among other traits.

Once one have been gaslit, they may always suspect the people they are close with may be ho

Up Next

How Men Suffer From The Lack Of Maternal Love And Affection When Raised by Unloving Mothers

How Men Suffer From The Lack Of Maternal Love

It is a commonly accepted belief that motherly love and affection are essential for the healthy development of a child. However, research suggests that a lack of maternal love and affection can have particularly negative effects on men.

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, men who reported having a lack of maternal love and affection during their childhood were more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety as adults, compared to men who reported having a warm and loving relationship with their mothers.

Similarly, ano

Up Next

Unlocking The Pain Of The Past: 10 Signs Of Repressed Childhood Trauma In Adults

Signs Of Repressed Childhood Trauma In Adults

Ever find yourself reacting strongly to situations and not quite sure why? Either you hear echoes of your past, or it’s probably because you listen to your inner child. In this article, we’re delving into the signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults – those subtle whispers from your younger self that can shape your present.

Picture it like a hidden script influencing your responses. But fear not, understanding these signs of repressed childhood trauma can empower you to reclaim control.

So, grab a metaphorical flashlight as we navigate through the shadows of the past, unveiling the clues that migh