BETRAYAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
“The act of betraying someone or something or the fact of being betrayed: violation of a person's trust or confidence, of a moral standard, etc. The betrayal of a friend; a betrayal of trust; a betrayal of one's principles.” (Merriam-Webster)
Trust is fragile. When someone we are attached to betrays that trust, it can cause deep, lasting wounds. We tend to separate ourselves from that person which, in some circumstances, can cause us great harm. Our means of income, food, and shelter can become threatened, especially if the person is a partner.
Psychologist Jennifer Freyd introduced betrayal trauma as a specific issue in 1991. Along with other events, it covers harm done to relationships between parents and children, or a person’s relationship with their romantic partner. Betrayal can affect both physical and mental well-being. Both childhood and infidelity trauma have long-ranging effects.
Betrayal by a close friend can be devastating. Friends are sometimes confidants and support for people with other issues. Having this safety net destroyed can wreck someone’s emotions.
In her article “Betrayed by your Best Friend, 6 Ways to Heal your Heart” Psychiatrist F. Diane Barth lists among her suggestions to decide whether you can forgive your friend. Many times it takes work and a counselor's help to get to that stage of release.
In all these cases, the problem can usually be overcome with work from both partners. Also, psychological assistance can help.
Why Betrayal can Cause Trauma and How to Start Healing, Crystal Raypole
The Effects of Betrayal on Marriage, Elise Wile
Stages of Betrayal Trauma and Recovery for Partners, Sandra A. Shachar, PhD
What is Betrayal Trauma?
Betrayed by your Best Friend? 6 Ways to Heal you Heart, F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W.
If You Were Betrayed by A Friend, Here Is What You Should Do, Katie Uniacke