8 Signs of PTSD from a Past Relationship | How to Deal with It?

Can You Have PTSD from a Relationship

8 Signs of PTSD from a Past Relationship | How to Deal with It?

Relationships, being so intimate in nature, can be the reason for some of life’s most joyful experiences. While, on the other hand, relationship-bound trauma can have grave effects even if the signs are not immediately noticeable. 

PTSD has its own way to creep up on you out of nowhere. Disturbing events from a past relationship can easily trigger you to have the Symptoms of PTSD

However, as soon as the first jolt of self-awareness hits you, it’s normal to ask: Can You Have PTSD from a Relationship?

The answer may very well lie in your own behavior and thought patterns.

Do you often find yourself going in circles and reinforcing the same thoughts? 

Feeling like you’re stuck in a cycle, self-isolation, withdrawing from new relationships and friends, all these can be the Signs of PTSD.

It’s, in fact, extremely difficult for people with PTSD to get out of their own way. Some of the thoughts are subconscious enough to make you go in circles without ever recognizing them.

Thus, it’s often the most benign signs that look-like-normal behavior (but actually are not) that you’ve to pay attention to.


8 Signs You Have PTSD from a Relationship

Some of the telltale signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from a relationship are:

  • Finding it hard to trust and rely on others.
  • Doubting your own ability to make future relationship decisions.
  • Experiencing stress and mental confusion due to past events.
  • Self-doubt and lacking self-worth and confidence.
  • Feelings of hopelessness and uncertainty for the future.
  • Intense fear and avoidance of new relationships.
  • Distancing yourself from friends and family.
  • Becoming overly dependent on loved ones.
  • Acting out in anger and frustration.
  • Feeling depressed and shutting off any potential relationship partner.

You just got out of a traumatic relationship. Suddenly you find yourself unable to relate to people the same way you used to! 

Now, you’re doubting everyone and everything that even remotely resembles an event from your past. 

Moreover, it’s not always romantic relationships that are on the radar to cause you to fall into PTSD.

Any relationship that had emotional, physical, mental or sexual implications can trigger distressing experiences in the present. 

Whether you have PTSD from Relationship Breakup or due to any other reason, some signs can give away the emotional turmoil you feel inside. 

#1. Closing Yourself Off

Signs You Have PTSD from a Relationship

Fear is often the first response of people who have experienced trauma. Avoiding getting into new situations is the surefire way to keep yourself protected.

This PTSD Symptom can even render itself into other relationships where you avoid making decisions. Taking a stance exposes you to have a say in the situation.

This automatically makes you obliged to invest emotional energy which you, most likely, don’t have. 

Thus, you feel it’s better to keep to yourself and close off emotionally and, sometimes, even verbally. Though, while this may reassure your sense of comfort, it disconnects you from others. 

People exhibiting this sign also push away those who genuinely want to help. 

#2. Flashbacks of the Traumatic Situation

This one ties in with the first point. Having flashbacks of the same trauma makes you more likely to self isolate out of fear.

Moreover, people asking can you have PTSD from a relationship often become aware only after they recognize this pattern. 

It’s common for those with PTSD from Relationship Abuse to relive the same episode in their mind. Whether the abuse was physical, emotional, or sexual, it’s highly triggering.  The signs can manifest themselves in a number of ways. Certain sounds, events, or experiences may take you right back into the past. They are ingrained in your subconscious.

While unsavory, it’s difficult to control your thoughts at the moment. 

It might even make you react or lash out in a way that’s unlikely of you. 

#3. Reinforcing Negative Thoughts and Feeling Hopeless

“I’ll never find a healthy relationship because I’m emotionally damaged.”

“Maybe I’m not deserving enough for one.” 

These kinds of disparaging remarks are normal when PTSD overloads your senses. You prefer to be by yourself and get busy in order to avoid these intrusive thoughts.

After all, feeling nothing is always better than exploring uncharted waters. This is the moment when afflicted people tend to numb themselves to any new feeling or situation. 

Getting out of your comfort zone seems like danger and a risk you don’t want to take. You may even build boundaries and don’t allow yourself to feel anything at all. 

While general sadness is another thing, feeling hopeless about your future prospects is another. If these feelings stem from a past relationship, you may very well be experiencing Relationship PTSD

#4. Blowing Things WAY Out of Proportion

Relationship PTSD

Past trauma keeps you on the defense, at all times. Your ego wants to protect you at all costs and will trigger you to think things not rooted in reality. 

Even minor things start to set off alarms for you! You may get critical of others’ actions and judge them for things they didn’t even intend in the first place. 

Needless to say, this makes it difficult for people to build mutually trusting relationships. It’s even more common for people who have been betrayed in the past.

So, Can You Get PTSD from Being Cheated On

Yes. In fact, it can trigger the darkest aspects of your personality. You may experience bouts of anger, irritability, and anxiety in reaction to a situation you perceive as threatening in your future partnerships. 

#5. Falling Into Another Unhealthy Pattern

In spite of all the boundaries and fear, people with PTSD find themselves repeating the same experiences. It’s a sort of mental conditioning that keeps you stuck. 

Common Signs Of PTSD In A Relationship
You may find yourself falling for the same type of drama you just got out of. It’s also common for the ones with PTSD to develop a “victim mentality”. 

Believing you deserve the bad treatment you receive is the trademark of someone conditioned for emotional abuse.  In reality, this is a learned behavior from past traumatic situations. For this reason, it’s imperative to recognize the cycle and put an end to the madness.

Henceforth, it’s crucial to understand that you can have PTSD from past relationships. Moreover, it can distort your sense of self-worth and perception. And it’s important to take the time to heal. 

#6. Using Self-Medication as a Cop Out

One of the most surefire ways for a Relationship PTSD Test is the desire to neglect and suppress. People finding it hard to manage their thoughts look for comfort by building a different reality. 

You may suddenly be more open to emotional eating, binge drinking, or taking recreational drugs. All in the hopes of escaping uncomfortable feelings. 

However, taking matters into this direction almost always ends up badly, not only emotionally but also physically.

If you also find yourself turning to self-medication, think about therapy and ask for support. While you can have PTSD from a relationship, it doesn’t have to dictate your present and your future.

#7. Being Overly Self Focused 

Another sign you can have PTSD from a relationship is when you become extremely self-absorbed. Isolation and cutting yourself off from other people is a common reaction after getting traumatized. 

However, this may end up with you hurting other people in the process.

Your loved ones may start to feel distant from you. And, at some point, they get drained by the one-sided investments they make into sustaining the relationship single-handedly.

On the other side of the spectrum, you may also become overly dependent on others. This is just a way to feel more secure and cut off any and all possibility of emotional trauma. 

This, obviously, is a disaster as it feels like emotional abuse. Plus, it prevents your loved ones from having their own space, which brings us to the next point.

#8. Developing Controlling and Abusive Tendencies

Controlling behavior

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most dangerous signs of relationship PTSD. A past experience or relationship that caused trauma can easily trigger feelings of insecurity. 

Your ego goes into overdrive whenever you perceive certain situations as threatening. Further, it’s exceptionally common to feel intense rage and have zero control over your emotions. 

This can go as far as pushing people away, insulting them, and even become physically and emotionally abusive. 

One excellent example of this behavior can be seen in people who had traumatic childhood experiences. Lack of self-awareness and proper treatment makes them lash out and act in ways that resemble their inner child.  Well, if this sounded triggering to you, know that it’s not your fault. But it’s also time to seek treatment to break out of unhealthy patterns and avoid hurting others.

These are some of the top signs you can have PTSD from a relationship without knowing you have it.

So, can you have PTSD from a relationship? Yes, you may very well can with intrusive thoughts and negative emotions you don’t want.

Now, you know How to Tell If You Have PTSD from a Relationship

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will make it hard to feel comfortable and like yourself in any future relationships. 

Acting out of impulse and anxiety become way too familiar, making things even more difficult.

Hence, taking steps towards self-healing is imperative. 


How to Deal with PTSD from a Relationship?

Complex PTSD and Romantic Relationships can be extremely mind-numbing to navigate. 

The only way out is acceptance and asking for support in a way that doesn’t hamper the lives of people around you. 

Steps to Deal with PTSD 

#1. Accept that you can have PTSD from a relationship and that you can overcome it.

#2. Become more self-aware of your PTSD triggers and what causes them.

#3. Self-examine to understand the reasons behind your reactions and if it’s justified.

#4. Do not bottle up your feelings. Divulge them with trusted loved ones, friends, and family. 

#5. Work on anger management and self-confidence to get rid of insecurities.

#6. Be honest about your feelings without feeling the need to self-blame.

#7. Find ways to relax and mingle with other people in social settings.

#8. Work on communication skills.

#9. Try considering things from others’ perspective.

#10. Go for individual therapy for PTSD.

These measures should also help you build a more solid support system. Plus, utilizing Stress Management Techniques can help you find your way out of many situations calmly.

Being open with others around you also gives them an opportunity to take an active part in your healing.

However, it’s also important to consider the role of caregivers of those with PTSD.

If you’re in a relationship with someone with PTSD, you may even develop your own symptoms. Or worse, you may fall into a codependent relationship dynamic. 

In that case, you must take stock of the situation to be able to take care of yourself and your loved one.


How to Care for Someone with PTSD from a Past Relationship?

First, you’ve got to remember to see things from a logical perspective.

Here are some of the steps you might take to foster a healthy environment.

How to Help Someone with PTSD?

How to Care for Someone with PTSD

#1.  Learn more about PTSD symptoms and do not engage in blame. 

#2. Do not take things personally.

#3. Do not make the person feel like an emotional burden.

#4. Also engage in activities without your partner.

#5. Work on self-confidence and self-care.

#6. Avoid getting codependent out of convenience or emotional stress.

#7. Do not get clingy and too sympathetic. Let them be.

#8. Never self-blame and feel responsible to fix their emotional void.

#9. Suggest therapy or counseling and sort through issues.

#10. Take time to arrange your own thoughts and feelings.

What to Do When Someone with PTSD Pushes You Away

You let them be on their own.

Keep your calm and come back later to discuss the issue with them.

However, at the end of the day, also remember to not remain in a toxic situation if things can’t be helped.

You deserve to be in a healthy environment, so take active steps to enable that.

Lastly, building a relationship takes emotional maturity and trust in equal parts.

PTSD from past relationships or traumatic experiences can ruin both. That’s exactly why it has to be addressed on time to foster healthy situations in the future. 


The Takeaway

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be extremely debilitating and can take over your actions. 

Overthinking and walking on eggshells is a common response by those badly hurt. However, you’ve to come to a place of self-actualization to even recognize PTSD Signs and Symptoms.

For this, you can also work with an individual therapist on a regular basis.

While you can have PTSD from past relationships, do not use it as a crutch to justify negative behavior. Getting rid of your own symptoms is, at last, a decision and your own responsibility.

It may take time, but it’s entirely possible to treat PTSD from a past relationship. 

Did you find the blog useful? 

Don’t forget to drop in your comments. Or share this with someone who might be going through the same emotional battles.

Horizon Clinics

At Horizon Clinics, we help you decode the solutions to your micro-health battles. Our in-depth and practical guides cover everything from diet plans, weight loss, workouts, and bodybuilding to issues of mental health.

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