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You know someone who is in an abusive relationship. The warning signs are flying fast and furious all the time. Constantly, they are in a state of emotional distress, yet they never seem willing to terminate the relationship. Even though they are constantly overwhelmed, they don’t seem aware that their relationship would qualify as abusive. When confronted about the issue, they deflect, get defensive, or offer justifications for their or their partner’s behaviors. You, their family, friends, and other acquaintances wonder why they remain in this relationship and what it would take to get them to see how problematic the relationship is.

The same exact conversation could be had about someone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol. Denial is a powerful tool when someone is not capable of fully comprehending the current state of their reality. Unable to see the signs, an individual stays thick in their addiction, justifying and excusing their abuse of drugs and alcohol because of the bond they have created between themselves and their substance of choice. In abusive relationships with other people, a similar bond is created, called a ‘trauma-bond’. Trauma-bonding is often the result of psychological abuse, though it can be created out of physical abuse.

“It’s a bit like becoming addicted to a drug,” explains Business Insider. “A psychologically abusive relationship is a rollercoaster, with punishment and then intermittent reinforcement of kindness when you ‘behave.’” Both psychological and physical responses are taking place. Though there may not be any physical abuse present, the body is being impacted by the stress emotional abuse can cause. “This means the body is going through its own turmoil with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol,” the article explains, “paired with dopamine when given affection as a reward.”

Relationships are comprised of many different components and connections. In an abusive relationship, all of the other bonds may disappear. The entire functionality of the relationship might rely entirely on the active trauma. Creating a toxic cycle, it is easy to lose sight of what a true relationship looks and feels like. Unfortunately, the physical as well as psychological effects of trauma continue to unfold. Coping with trauma can result in the abuse of drugs and alcohol, compulsive behavioral disorders, and severe mental health conditions.

If you are in an abusive relationship and need assistance immediately, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: (855) 966-9723

Recovering from the trauma of an abusive relationship requires the compassionate care of a professional treatment center. The Guest House Ocala offers private residential treatment programs catered to the every need of each client. Offering a variety of therapies for healing, our programs encourage recovery of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800