I feel it is best to put a trigger warning on this page as it does touch on things many of us with BPD will find a little hard to deal with and indeed talk about. But it is a symptom that many people don’t know they are going through and yet it is one of the most dangerous we can suffer from. Also known as ‘Trauma bonding’ it is often linked to narcissistic relationships with a loved one or even just a friend. While the signs of it do sound a lot like Stockholm syndrome, this is not the same thing. Let’s get into trauma bonding a little more and answer some of the main questions you might have…
What is the BPD Symptom of Traumatic Bonding?
While more a passable-symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) this is a way of the brain-protecting you from the trauma you might be suffering from or indeed simply reminiscing about. In short, you bond with the trauma you are going through which can be the person doing it or indeed the situation you were once in. You start to almost “understand” why it happened or indeed is still happening. Many people with BPD will endure this symptom as it is part of our own Fear of Abandonment, so you don’t want to be left alone, but you are in a toxic place. To put it another way, you are on a rollercoaster ride you hate and want to get off, but the ride never ends. But after a while, you start to enjoy the ride because you think that is the way life is and you don’t know any different.
What Can Cause Traumatic Bonding?
While most people will suffer from this due to someone else’s narcissistic behaviour or just general inconsistencies in a relationship. You can also get it from your own brain via Cognitive Distortions in which we start to think the opposite of what is happening as a sort of survival instinct. Sadly a lot of people who suffer from this symptom know they are suffering from it and need to remove themselves from that toxic situation, but are often powerless to do this.
How Bad Can Traumatic Bonding be?
Just the fact that you have started to trauma bond should be a sign you need some professional help and advice, or you need to start talking to someone about the situation you are in. Those of us with BPD can easily find trauma bonding ending badly, so getting the right help and advice as soon as yourself or someone else spots the signs of this symptom is the best course of action as the longer it goes on, the harder it will be for treatment to break that bond.
How Can I Stop Traumatic Bonding?
While it is best to get professional help for this symptom you can break out of it yourself with a lot of “reality training”. By stopping for a while each day and looking at the position your life is in now, you can look at it objectively and free from judgment. Keeping a diary of the things that are happening is the best way to start, by writing down each negative thing said or done to you and asking yourself is this right can snap some people out of those bonds. But I have to be honest with you and tell you that going alone is never the best solution with the symptom. Do try and reach out to someone, anyone and just try and tell them how you are feeling and why you have noticed the trauma bonding happening.
Well, I hope this has answered your question. As always with any posts/pages on this site, we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Is this a question you wanted answering? Are there any questions you have relating to BPD that we have not covered? If so please leave a comment to if you want more privacy do please to get in touch with us via the Contact page.